The dividing lines in the riling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership battle began to emerge as positions of regional vice presidents looks to be fiercely contested at the convention set for July 1 to 3 this year at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.
There three regional vice presidents, Dr George Chaponda (south), Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba (central), Bright Msaka (eastern), and Goodall Gondwe (north).
Apart from Gondwe who is set to go unopposed; Chaponda, Ntaba and Msaka have challengers.
Chaponda is facing strong challenge from Leader of Government in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.
Nankhumwa currently serves as Director of Elections in DPP. His post is going to be contested by Ben Phiri, the current Director of Operations.
In the central region, deputy publicity secretary Zeria Chakale has said she wants to be the party’s vice president to replace Ntaba. Another contestant for the post is political nomad Uladi Mussa.
However, Ntaba said he is not moved by the challengers.
“Obviously, this is going to be highly contested convention,” he said. “It’s not something new — DPP conventions are robust.”
Vice-president eastern region Bright Msaka, who is also Minister of Education, is facing challenge from former minister Yunus Mussa.
“I was once vice-president for the Eastern Region and, so, many people from the region have been asking me to contest [for the position]. If there is good will, I cannot refuse. May the best candidate win,” Mussa said.
DPP secretary general Grezeldar Jeffrey will battle it out with Clement Mwale, Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu and Wictor Msongazaudzu Salinjeni.
The publicity secretary Francis Kasaila will have to defend his position against Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi and First Depiuty Speaker Esther Mcheka-Chilenje.
On the position of treasurer general, Minister of Transport and current DPP campaign director Jappie Mhango will battle it out with holder of the post Henry Mussa, Minister of Agricultute Joseph Mwanamvekha and Rashid Gaffar MP.
The DPP constitution stipulates that the convention shall elect all “office holders to various positions in the party”.
Only President Peter Mutharika will go unopposed.
The set convention will be the third this year after that of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) which were marred by conflicts. The United Democratic Party (UDF) will hold its elective conference on August 1 2018 at Comesa Hall and the People’s Party (PP) are yet to announce dates for their convention.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :