JB to contest 2019 Malawi polls, Gwengwe says still in it

Former Malawi president Joyce Banda “will surely seek the mandate” of Malawians in the 2019 presidential election under the banner of People’s Party (PP), the party spokesman Ken Msonda has said.

Msonda told private radio station Zodiak on Tuesday that Banda is currently reenergising at her home in Nkhata Bay where she relocated after vacating Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe but will seek nomination to run for presidency again.

During the run up to announcement of May 20 chaotic election results, Banda declared that she would no longer stand for re-election.

President Banda  is with Sosten Gwengwe who was her running mate in the May 20 Tripartite Elections
President Banda is with Sosten Gwengwe who was her running mate in the May 20 Tripartite Elections

But Msonda explained that the stand was made as concession to have the May 20 chaotic ballot to be recounted to have a credible elections results, saying that did not occur, Banda will run for office in the 2019 polls.

“Joyce Banda will still be the PP candidate for President in 2019,” said Msonda.

Msonda said those thinking Banda will be wiped out of the political arena should stop “daydreaming”.

A political scientist at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Dr. Boniface Dulani, noted that “losing an election may not necessarily mean she cannot do well if she decides to contest, it may depend on the performance of the current administration and presidential candidates that may come on the scene.”

Meanwhile, former minister of Industry and Trade, who was also PP running mate in the May 20 Tripartite Elections, Sosten Gwengwe, has clarified that quitting frontline politics does not necessarily meaning he was taking a bow from the whole political game.

“I am just resting to reflect but I have not withdrawn my membership from PP and not quit politics,” Gwengwe told Nyasa Times to clarify an earlier report.

Gwengwe, who lost his Dedza Central parliamentary seat to Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) Daniel Chiwere, said he will not be in frontline politics because he is no longer a lawmaker where he could provide checks and balance.

“But in terms of being in politics, yes am in it and I am not a quitter,” he said.

The 37-year-old politician christened by many as “Ben 10” said he was only stepping back from front-line politics in the meantime but said “without doubt” he will be party to the rebuilding of PP.

He being picked as a running mate to Banda was a badge of honour and after “reflecting” he will come back a recharged politician.

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