DPP knife-edge leadership contest: Chaponda, Ben Phiri, Nankhumwa top candidates

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)  is set to hold its elective convention few days from now in June where all national governing council (NGC) positions will be up for grabs, including that of party president, although it is a foregone conclusion- President Peter Mutharika is likely to stay at the helm of the party as its torchbearer  for May 2019 Tripartite Elections and  a fierce contest will be on positions of vice president, secretary general and other executive posts.

Jefferey and Ben Phiri : Seeeking top positions at DPP convention

DPP secretary general Grezeldar Jeffrey said the exact date for the convention will be announced by the chairperson of the convention in due course.

Nyasa Times understands the convention has been penciled to take place by July 1 in Blantyre.

Positions that are likely to be scrambled for are those of ‘regional’ vice presidents,  especially for the south where it has emerged three heavyweight candidates are aspiring.

DPP insiders reveal that Local Government Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa wants to replace Dr. George Chaponda as DPP vice president for the South while former presidential aide Ben Phiri is also in contention.

The scandal-hit Chaponda is still interested to defend his position.

All the three are cash-rich politicians wielding political power and well connected to President Mutharika.

Other two ‘favourite’ vice presidents are Goodall Gondwe for the North and Bright Msaka for the eastern region. The two are also likely going to sail through at the national convention without much ado.

But Dr. Heatherwick Ntaba for the central region is facing resistance as some want to challenge him including central region governor Bintony Kutsaira, former diplomat Reuben Ngwenya, nomadic politician Uladi Mussa among others.

Ntaba , however, is upbeat that Kutsaira can be damaged because  he dumped the DPP in 2012 when it was rumoured Bingu wa Mutharika had passed away “even before government had made an official announcement”.

The vice presidency in the DPP is more of a ceremonial position than influential. But with the succession battle, as Mutharika will be going to his mandatory last term in office, the post of VP will be crucial.

What will be most exciting will the battle for the position of secretary general. This is the most influential and powerful position in the DPP as it is in most of the major political parties.

Incumbent DPP secretary general Greselder Jeffrey wa Jeffrey is likely to face stiff competition from former DPP administrative secretary, Clement Mwale; former DPP secretary general and Speaker of National Assembly, Chimunthu Banda.

Mwale is holder of Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from Chancellor College and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Pebbles University in USA. He is currently studying for a PhD in Business Administration.

“He served as an administrator at the DPP national headquarters during the late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s time. He was the custodian of all party data and operation at policy levels on a daily basis. At the time when DPP was in ‘wilderness’, he was the administrative secretary,” said the source.

On the other hand, Chimunthu Banda is also well educated with good political history and stability. He once served as secretary general of the DPP before he became Speaker of Parliament.

She said while Chimunthu Banda has a glittering political career, he is loathed within the DPP for allegedly conniving with former President Joyce Banda and her PP administration to prevent Peter Mutharika from becoming Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

“Chimunthu Banda competed against Mutharika at the DPP national convention in 2013 and lost. Full of bitterness, he announced that he retired from active politics. DPP membership would be at pains to elect someone who is retiring from retirement; who obviously still holds grudges against some sections of the party following his convention loss,” she opined.

The convention announcement also comes amid divisions in the governing party as some have openly opposed the candidature of incumbent President Mutharika at the convention and opted for the automatic takeover of vice president Saulos Chilima as the party’s torch bearer in next year’s elections while another section wants Mutharika to continue at the helm.

The Mutharika camp has through the media threatened to block the Chilima camp from attending the convention.

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) and the People’s Party (PP) are yet to announce dates for their conventions.

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Kenani
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Kenani

I wonder where we are getting wrong?we voted for multiparty system of government and we said from now(1993) lets practice democracy now we are falling to embrace what we sweated for DPP. Should we say kamuzu was right by saying multiparty ndi nkhondo?CHILIMA,KALIATI, they are all DPP why cant you just level the playing ground and see what will come out?Sizomabisa masiku a convention zo ayi.

santana
Guest
santana

What a fall for Chilima? Why could he stupidly be fooled by his cousin, Callista. He would have known that this woman was doing this out of hatred with the Mutharikas. Now it is clear that his political carrier is blocked at least for now. He would have realized that for him to be accepted in the DPP he needed APM’s endorsement not through his so called Chilima Team.

Watematema Mutu
Guest

Nyasa times, wake up!!! This reporter has displayed BIASED REPORTING. Why colourfully pain a good credential picture for clemence mwale while lowly potraying Chimunthu Banda. Why deliberately talk more of the former credentials and qualification? Kodi mwina walandirapo zammanja? As usual yake ija.

Wamkulu Zinthu
Guest
Wamkulu Zinthu

ofcoz the reporting is shamefully biased

Chilungamo
Guest
Chilungamo

APM may be putting all efforts not for the power to ‘SLIP OFF his HANDS’ but he has to accept that people like Ben are thugs. The evidence is plain and simple. Ben’s and is accomplice have been seen in public BRANDISHING handguns, which is unlawful by the panel code of Malawi. But no case has been even presented to police And if the president thinks any nation can genuinely develop with its laws thrown in the dustbin or its leader chooses to look away with his hands in the pocket, akimbo, as if nothing is happening then he should… Read more »

Ndadabwa
Guest

ngulungunde, you dont know anything. its chilima who help your old president to win. chilima was master mind of rigging

Mlendo
Guest

Ndadabwa, who helped muluzi to put Bingu in power when he rig 2004 elections. Shame on your myopic thinking.

Wamkulu Zinthu
Guest
Wamkulu Zinthu

So Chilima rigged? Then he is too compromised to lead us. Shutup zake ndithu

Johane
Guest
Johane

A pack of thieves holding a convention? How laughable.

mkandawire
Guest
mkandawire

I dont think ppl from Chilima camp will gate any position from this coming Dpp indaba

Ngalamayi
Guest
Ngalamayi

If only Malawi’s politicians spent as much time bettering and developing Malawi as they do in political infighting, The Warm Heart of Africa would be healthy and wealthier!

Kwacha
Guest

The battle is now on. Nchilima will go back to Airtel or be a lender selling phone cards. How did he allow to be supported by someone who wanted to match naked because of killings of alabinos. That is this fool Kalindo. For Ngumuya he is finished .
Nchiluma kupupuluma. Being a vice does not mean you will be the president. Wagwatu iwe. Kalisita deceived you

REMNANT
Guest
REMNANT

Tiona who really deceived the other. Looks like you are out of touch from the real thing. Thangitini phe muone mmene gwape wanuyo atapusile.

Ngulungunde
Guest
Ngulungunde

Chilima was one of the most fortunate people – APM trusted him and picked him as runingmate. What does he do? Backstab APM because of presidential ambition and misguided advice from people who did not wish him well. Probably time will tell whether Chilima can do a Macron, but that road is treacherous. Without the Chilima movement, he [Chilima] would have been assured of the position of DPP runningmate. All he needed to do is be respectful and patient. Tione kuti zitha bwa?

mkandawire
Guest
mkandawire

Chimuthu Banda will be a good runningmate than this Chilima boy

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