Malawians of all walks of life in Blantyre and other districts in the southern region braved the scorching August heat to witness the official launch on Saturday of the People’s Party (PP), a newly registered political party in Malawi founded and led by state vice president Joyce Banda.
An enthusiastic Ndirande resident, Madalitso Mpakeni had loss for words to describe the throng of people, saying that the magnitude of the crowd did not add up with the fact that the party was registered “just last month.”
“It’s an orange revolution; I think Malawians should be ready for change come 2014,” Mpakeni told Nyasa Times at the Nyambadwe Lions Primary School Lower Ground event.
PP’s official colour is orange and its symbol is an open lock with a key.
The guest speaker at the function, Banda began by thanking God for helping her and colleagues achieve official registration of the party after a protracted battle against the authorities whom she said were bent on frustrating them.
“I also wish to thank our courts; they ordered registration of our party despite suffering continued demonization, insults and harassment by the powers that be. Our courts have proved to be genuinely independent,” the state vice president said.
The PP leader then thanked the director of legal affairs in the party and lawyer Paul Maulidi for working hard to get the party registered; Lilongwe party sympathizers for their solidarity during court hearing of the registration matter; and finally “everyone who was solidly behind us.”
“I also wish to thank other political parties for their valuable advice; the clergy for praying for us day and night; I wish to recognize the support of my family, my brother, all relatives; I want to thank all ‘Orange Partners’ and ‘Youth Intellectuals,’” Banda said.
Later, the PP leader defined what People’s Party is, saying if people asked members of the party what the PP is, they should respond that “it is a party for the people”.
She said the party was set up on the principle of its leaders being honest and genuine servants of the people.
Banda described the relationship between politicians and the people as a “love affair”, saying that as an MP, for instance, “you fall in love with your people, and the people fall in love with you”.
She said before the PP was put in place, a thorough research was conducted to ascertain whether to form a new party or join existing ones.
Banda said many people that were interviewed were of the opinion that it was worthwhile forming a new political party as “the other parties would chase you again after doing all the spade work”.
She said that PP is founded on three pillars of ‘unity, equity and development’ and on the philosophy of ‘umunthu’.
Banda said her party is poised to restore economic and political freedoms when it forms the next government in 2014 and that it would decentralize power to ensure citizen’s active participation in the social, economic and political affairs of the country.
Among the PP ‘heavyweights’ that attended the official launch included PP’s vice president and Mzimba legislator, Khumbo Kachali, secretary general Henry Chibwana, treasurer general Brown Mpinganjira, publicity secretary Stephen Mwenye, organizing secretary and master of ceremonies Salim Bagus, director of religious affairs, Rev. Malani Mtonga, national director of women Clara Makungwa, lawyer Bazuka Mhango and members of PP external wings in Zimbabwe and South Africa, among others.
State vice president Joyce Banda was expelled as first vice president from the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of President Bingu wa Mutharika alongside Kachali in December 2010. The president and Banda apparently fell out of each other after Banda refused to endorse the imposition of the president’s young brother, Professor Peter Mutharika, as DPP’s presidential candidate in the next national polls in 2014.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :