Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) acting president Peter Mutharika has received a timely boost form the party’s governors from the South and Eastern political regions who have thrown their weight behind his candidature at its forthcoming convention as opposed to Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda’s bid.
Mutharika will face Chimunthu Banda in a two-horse race at the convention.
But outspoken DPP regional governor (South) Noel Masangwi – who caused a storm last year when he declared that Malawi was “not ready for a female president” when then Vice-President Joyce Banda was widely seen as positioning herself as the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s successor – has declared that His region will support Mutharika.
“Professor Peter Mutharika is well known locally and internationally. As a party we have to look at their resources. Professor Mutharika has resources and can campaign to the last minute, but I doubt if honourable Chimunthu Banda has such resources,” said Masangwi, as quoted in The Nation.
Eastern Region governor, Charles Jika, said the party followers in the region have also decided to support Mutharika’s candidacy.
Jika said, according to the report, that the party followers in the region met long time ago and made a decision that their candidate is Mutharika and that this stand has not changed.
But DPP regional governor (North) Nick Masebo, who is also Chitipa North Member of Parliament, said the region was going to support a credible candidate regardless of origins.
He said: “We will listen to them, they will have to tell us if they are worth our votes and we will go by that.”
The DPP convention is scheduled to take place from 17 to 19 April 2013.