In the forthcoming 2019 tripartite elections, governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will “stand out from the crowd and win fair and square” despite a systematic demonization propaganda campaign by its detractors, newly elected party’s vice president for southern region, Kondwani Nankhumwa has said.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, Nankhumwa admitted that DPP faces growing negative propaganda, which it has to surmount to win in 2019.
“Some journalists, political parties and civil society organization leaders have rolled out a coordinated media strategy that hinges on advancing hatred against DPP and its leadership. The strategy includes a fierce propagation of unsubstantiated corruption allegations against senior DPP leaders,” said Nankhumwa.
He said DPP is, however, “not moved by their falsehoods” and instead, the party has set its eyes on taking Malawi “to the next level of meaningful social and economic development”.
“DPP under President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has implemented various social and economic development projects across the country in the areas of health, transport and communication, education and security, among others. The economy has steadily grown in the past four years despite the absence of budgetary support from our cooperating partners.
“For their selfish political interests, our detractors have deliberately chosen to ignore all these facts and instead spew out falsehoods in their bid to smear DPP reputation. It has not worked, and it will not work. Malawians have eyes and ears to make informed decisions about who should guide them on the path to genuine socio-economic development,” he said.
Nankhumwa could not reveal how the party would ‘surmount’ the alleged ‘coordinated media strategy’.
Commenting on his election as DPP vice presidency for the south at the DPP national, Nankhumwa said as a democratic institution, DPP draws its thrust from the will of the people.
“My guiding principle has always been to do the will of the people; I believe in servant leadership whose essence is to put the needs of others first before yours, or to turn the power pyramid upside down. I therefore presented myself as a servant of the people and one who is ready to serve based on their will,” he said.
Nankhumwa had just turned 40 when he was elected to such a senior position in the party. He told Nyasa Times the DPP has always been a party for everyone; the young and old, women and children. This is the character of the party that they always cherish and cerebrate, he said.
He noted that DPP still retains within its top echelons a good number of older leaders.
“These are people who are vastly experienced because they have been through many political cycles. We will always rely on their wisdom.
“Our national conference helped to balance the power structure in the DPP. We came up with a mix of young people and those that are a little more advanced in age and also to have representatives from all the four political regions within our leadership structure,” said Nankhumwa, adding that as DPP will be drawing from the experience and institutional memory of our elders, it would also be allowing young people to take up challenging leadership roles.
He said Malawi is a young country with young people making up to 64% of the population, constituting the biggest voting bloc in the next election.
“It is important for DPP to reflect this crucial demographic balance in our leadership composition. We have largely been responsive to the requirements of this core constituency and we shall continue to do that,” said Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Local Government and Rural Development besides being parliamentarian for Mulanje Central and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, said he makes sure that he performs his various “challenging roles to the best of my ability”.
“I do that because I have faith in the vision that President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has for this country. I believe he is the only person right now who is better disposed to lead our party, the DPP, and to take this country to the next level of social and economic development. My loyalty to him and to the DPP is therefore unflinching.
“I will continue to invest my best efforts in ensuring that the President’s vision comes to pass because it will be Malawi as a country, which will win in the end. I believe we can do it; we will certainly do it,” said Nankhumwa.
He said he has always been a hands-on person as a servant of the people, particularly as MP for Mulanje Central.
“The demands of my job as cabinet minister often times require that I travel to other places. I usually call upon the systems that we have developed with my team at the constituency to ensure that the train of development continues pushing. It is a system that works,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :