Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) h Secretary General Chris Daza told journalists in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, on Saturday that he is expected to garner enough support to be elected presidential candidate at the MCP convention slated for April 27 to April 29 2013.
Daza is challenging John Tembo for the MCP’s presidency and nomination to lead it in the 2014 presidential race. He said it is wrong to change the party’s constitution, which bars Tembo from standing in 2014, just to accommodate the veteran politician.
He said once elected as the president of MCP, his leadership will work closely with the incumbent party president John Zenus Tembo regardless of the political squabbles and bickering that have engulfed the party for too long a time now.
Speaking at a news conference held at the Capital Hotel in the capital city Lilongwe on March 23, 2013, Daza said :“Come April, 2013 convention, I will contest as a presidential candidate and should I win, I will work with all of the persons that hated me, those that tried to destroy my name and chased me away, including the current president.
“Honourable JZU [Tembo] has worked very hard for the party for quite some years. I appreciate. But I believe that there is time to give a chance to others. He will be my ‘m’dambo mozimira moto’. The man is full of wisdom, experience and knowledge, of which those of us wanting to do well in leading the party, should seriously partner with.”
Daza said over the past time he has been quite, he has managed to win the confidence of
almost all would-be delegates at the convention.
“I have all the confidence that I will win, I have gone around all the districts except Likoma due to transport issues. I have talked with almost all the delegates and I can confidently tell you that Chris Daza is completely set for the convention and believe me, I will pull a surprise,” he said.
On the reports that the party is set to bar him at the convention as he is deemed to be a rebel, Daza said if the party will do so, then the convention will not take place.
“As secretary general, I am supposed to be the key person in all this. But I am in the dark. I do not know of any meeting of the National Executive Committee that arrived at such a date as announced. It takes the NEC to meet and develop a clear agenda of the convention.
“I am the SG, and I am legally empowered to run the party’s convention. Any attempt to stop me will mean there won’t be a convention all,” he said.
Adding: ” As an oldest party in this country. I would have thought the MCP should set a model of what transparency, intra-party democracy and the rule of law should look like.”
Daza further disclosed that he has since written a personal and confidential letter to Tembo seeking reconciliation and he has tried to engage political, religious and civil rights leaders to try and persuade MCP president to come to terms with him as his secretary general as he is working towards the goodness of the party.
He said amongst some of his policies would include building the party that understands the power of contact and dialogue with all stakeholders to avoid the civil unrest that he said has been witnessed in the country for some time now.
Daza said he would like to develop a party that has capacity to engage with any of the development partners and donor aid agencies at a partnership level with mutual respect for each other’s cultural norms.
“We would like to develop a party that will lead Malawi to its long awaited second independence. Almost 50 years ago, we led Malawi into its first ever independence and tangible development, it was was a political independence. At silver jubilee, we want to develop a party that will lead Malawi to another independence and this is economic independence,” said Daza.
Daza said he is ready and eager to contribute towards the successful holding of the convention and the entire campaign trail ahead of the 2014 general polls.
Asked if he have enough resources to carry out a successful campaign if elected the party’s torch bearer, Daza said he has enough at his disposal.
“Resources do not mean having a fat account but having a sound strategy and my team has that and rest be assured that if elected at the convention, MCP is going back into the government.
He said his party will catch up with the rest of political parties who have in earnest already started campaign ahead of the general elections.
Tembo has ignored calls to let others lead the party. He is in his early 80’s.—(Additional reporting by Chancy Namadzunda, Nyasa Times)
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