There are two others eyeing post of Mayor — Leonard Chimbanga (Soche East) of UTM and Eric Mofolo, who was voted in as independent for Mzedi Ward.
Also confirmed as received by the City Council secretariat for the post of deputy is DPP’s Gerald Lipikwe for Limbe Central but reports say the party would rather have just two contestants to increase their chances of winning.
Also running for deputy mayor are two UTM candidates Funny Kanojerera (Nyambadwe) and Thokozani Phekani (Soche West).
Ndipo is eyeing to retain the seat he assumed from former Councillor Noel Chalamanda while Chirambo is about to ignite another signal for women empowerment in politics as she eyes to be elected the first-ever female mayor.
Popularly known as Ntopwa 1, businessman Osman is owner of the football club, Ntopwa FC, which is currently participating in its debut appearance on the top flight TNM Super League.
Interestingly both Osman and Makwinja are from neighbouring wards — Bangwe Nthandizi and Bangwe.
This will be Chirambo’s second attempt at the Mayorship which she lost against Noel Chalamanda five years ago.
This puts the test for the strong 50-50 campaign that calls to put women in top leadership positions riding on the back of what Lilongwe City did by electing woman Councilor Juliana Kaduya as Mayor.
In Karonga District, they opted to elect their only female Councillor Ethel Mwanza of Nyungwe Ward as Council chairperson while in Blantyre District they elected Chilaweni Ward Councillor Carol Mdala of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the first female Council chairperson, replacing Soche Ward Councillor Jeremiah Jumbe, also of the DPP.
In the legislature, the Members of Parliament elected the country’s first-ever Speaker of Parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara.
Of the 23 councilors for Blantyre City, just four are women — Chirambo (Namalimwe, DPP), Joyce Connie Malunga (Green Corner, DPP), Mary Kachale (Nkolokoti, DPP) and Thokozani Kawatira Phekani (Soche West, UTM).
Of the remaining 19 men and 13 are from the DPP, four from UTM and three voted in as independents. For one of the four DPP candidates to win they need to strongly canvas votes from the four councillors from UTM and the three independents.
Since the majority of councillors is from DPP, the party can retain both the mayor and deputy seats because votes will split to either of the four during their separate ballot process.
The 50-50 campaign that was heavily touted prior to the May 21 Tripartite Elections did not meet its objective as it only managed to bring in several women and of the 193 seats for Member of Parliament only 44 are women from 32 last time around.
Of her chances this time around, Chirambo said: “I have much higher chances now than in 2014 because there is political will to place a woman on top political seat.”
And on whether she has support of the other three women to canvas for her, she said they have chosen to remain silent for the moment.
“No one has come forth to give any ideas despite reaching out to them but I will keep engaging with them. I should get the support of the men as well in order to have a woman as a Mayor,” she said.
“With their support, I plan to be an effective mayor in order to serve our residents well as promised them during the campaign,” Councilor Chirambo said.
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