The leader of the New Republican Party (NRP) veteran politician Gwanda Chakuamba has been given MK3 million from DPP campaign director and his close friend Ken Zikhale Ng’oma to campaign against the popular People’s Party (PP) candidate Chidumba Mkandawire in the Rumphi Central by-elections to be held on September 6, 2011, Nyasa Times can reveal.
According to highly-placed sources, Chakuamba is currently camped in Rumphi where he is engaged in a “door-to-door” campaign in a bid to secure victory for the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate, Norman Nyirenda.
He is also reported to be in constant touch with People’s Development Movement (PDM) whose secretary general is Harry Mkandawire, DPP former regional governor for the north. PDM is fielding Peter Chihana as its candidate in the Rumphi Central constituency. Chakuamba is disguised as campaigning for PDM.
Rumphi Central constituency fell vacant when its incumbent MP Professor Moses Chirambo died on August 15, 2010 in a South African hospital after undergoing a minor heart surgery.
According to the sources, Chakuamba has had a series of meetings with CCAP Livingstonia Synod officials in a bid to convince them to support Nyirenda. However, it seems the odds are against the DPP candidate and in favour of the newly-registered PP candidate in the constituency.
Chakuamba, a Seventh Day Adventist Christian, was recently embroiled in a sex scandal with his long-time personal assistant and Secretary Grace Mhango, 32 making love to her since she was 21 years old.
Zikhale N’goma was recently drafted in the DPP national governing council (NGC) as national campaign director with a specific duty to deal with the state vice president Joyce Banda, who leads the People’s Party
Banda formed PP in April 2011 and the party was officially registered on July 29, 2011. The party was officially launched at Nyambadwe Lions Primary School Lower Ground on August 27, 2011 in Blantyre with a multitude of sympathizers attending.
Banda is set to officially launch PP in the northern region, central and eastern region.
Chakuamba, born 1935, was a former powerful minister in the government of Malawi’s founding President Kamuzu Banda. He was an influential leader of the opposition since 1994 when Malawi held its first democratic elections in 30 years and briefly served as agriculture minister during Mutharika’s first term.