Officials from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are confirming that the party is set to amend its constitution to, among others, allow people to contest for the positions of four regional vice presidents.
Chairman of the convention Nicholas Dausi says this means all party positions will now be regularised and up for grabs.
“It is true, the amendments are there, the delegates will endorse the amendments,” said Dausi.
In the north, ageing Finance minister Goodall Gondwe is likely to retain his vice presidency position but in the centre, it is the battle of Hetherwick Ntaba, Uladi Mussa, Dean Josiah Banda and Zeria Chakale but in the eastern region Bright Msaka sails through unopposed.
However, the real battle of the titans is in the south where George Chaponda will find it difficult to defend his position as senior Cabinet minister Henry Mussa, Joseph Mwanamvekha and Kondwani Nankhumwa have all said they are going to contest for the position.
The youthful Nankhumwa – who belongs to a ‘Team A’ of the party is favoured to win against Chaponda, the self-made southern region guru and member of the presidential inner circle and one who is often accused of giving President Peter Mutharika bad advice.
Chaponda is likely to lose if he insists on contesting against the three leaders because he has exhibited all the hallmarks of being a weak leader who is hated among the rank and file of the party.
According to recent analysis by a group of image management consultants “Dr. George Chaponda is still an image risk for the DPP due to his close association and linkage to corruption and theft”. His maize scandal has ruined the image of the party and government, and could be one single factor causing many members to flee the party.
Chaponda is also believed to be the mastermind of the violent activities the party has been involved in the recent past, particularly when Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) marched over the 4 billion Kwacha development fund for constituencies. His name also features highly in the torching of the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters soon after the maize scandal was exposed.
Indeed, Chaponda is the weakest among the four candidates for the position, and his losing is almost a foregone conclusion. Ironically, he will be facing the same opponent who defeated him for the position of Treasurer General at the last convention for the party in 2013. Henry Mussa trounced Chaponda who got six votes against many for Mussa.
Previously, the DPP president appointed the regional vice presidents.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :