JZU non-committal to hand over to HDP

Malawi’s main opposition leader and president of MCP, John Zenus Ugapake (JZU) Tembo, 78 on Tuesday declined to be drawn into discussing whether he is now set to  retire from politics n to pave way for 47-year-old lawyer-cum- politician Henry Duncan Phoya (HDP), who has joined the party.

The veteran politician was tight-lipped over his future during a news conference held at his Area 10 residence in Lilongwe to “unveil” Phoya as MCP’s new broom.

Tembo was asked if he will hand over the leadership to Phoya, the former justice minister in both Bakili Muluzi and Bingu wa Mutharika administrations.

Phoya (L) shaking hands with Tembo. Photo credit: Times Group

Responding, he said: “Today is not my show, it’s Hon Phoya’s day and therefore I cannot answer that.”

Phoya on his part said that he has joined the Malawi Congress Party as an ordinary member.

He said leadership position was not his agenda “at the moment.”

On why he has decided to join MCP, regarded as a party of “death and darkness”, Phoya tols reporters that it was time to build a new image.

“I am aware of the misconception that the young generation has about MCP. This will be one of the issues that I will embark on. I will engage with them to see how we can work together, the door is open,” he said.

He promised to “work hard to assist in the next general election.”

Sources however say there will me more politicians who will be joining MCP.

New secretary-general

Meanwhile, MCP has appointed veteran politician Beston Majoni as secretary general of the party after suspending Chris Daza from the position as earlier reported by Nyasa Times.

Majono, the former second deputy speaker lost his seat when he joined a pressure group which wanted Tembo to stand down.

MCP administative secretary Portipher Chidaya confrimed the development, saying Majoni’s appointment is with effect from Januray 1.

The party’s disciplinary committe agreed to suspend Daza after he failed to appear before it to answer on the accusations of “fraud”.

Daza presented a petition to the party dated August 1 2011, with some “fake” signatures of office bearers calling for the convention to elect a new leader.

MCP officials welcome Phoya 'back home'

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