Former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is expected to hold its first ever national convention in April this year, has shifted the venue of its indaba from Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe to Blantyre at Comesa Hall.
The decision was reached at the party’s national governing council (NGC) on Thursday.
Earlier, the party said it had selected the Bingu International Conference Centre to honor the party’s founder and former president late Bingu wa Mutharika.
But after Henry Chimunthu Banda, who is Malawi Speaker of Parliament, announced that he will run for the DPP presidency to challenge interim president Peter Mutharika, a faction loyal to Mutharika started making changes to stifle competition at the convention.
The changes include shifting of venue from Lilongwe to Blantyre and having only two delegates from each constituency attending the convention instead of nine as required by the party’s constitution.
However, DPP spokesman and convention chairman, Nicholous Dausi said the Bingu International Conference Centre isn’t big enough to accommodate all its delegates.
Bingu Conference can accommodate 2,000 delegates and DPP is expecting to have more than 3,000 delegates to participate in the convention.
Apart from the venue, the NGC meeting also approved the proposed K500 000 (about $1 250) nomination fees for those to contest for the position of party president.
The party also pegged K250 000 (about $625) fees for those vying for the vice-presidency position.
The NGC also resolved that those aspiring for the position of secretary general should pay K200 000 (about $500) while the position of treasurer general would attract K150 000 (about $375) nomination fees just like that of publicity secretary and organising secretary.
Dausi also said all aspiring for different positions of director will have to pay K100 000 (about $250) while deputies in these positions will pay K50 000 (about $125).
Chimunthu Banda did not attend the NGC meeting as he is reported to be in Namibia on official duty while Mutharika was among the attendees.