MCP chairs contradict Tembo on number of presidential candidates

District chairpersons from the central region in the country’s main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are rejecting the decision by the party’s leader John Tembo of trimming the number of presidential candidates from twelve to three arguing doing so would likely lead to the delays in holding of the convention saying some contestants have already prepared to take injunction against the decision.

Leader of the district chairpersons Mike Kanzingeni stressed the point during Tiuzeni Zoona program on a privately owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station in which he said it would be prudent to allow whoever wants to contest and let the voters decided his fate.

“We should not bar any one. We will be the ones voting   and will vote for the one who will impress us. We are afraid because time has run out and also because this would lead to the death of the party because many candidates are set to take injunction once they are barred from contesting,” said Kanzingeni refuting reports that his group has been bribed to speak against Tembo’s decision.

Kanzingeni also spoke against the proposal to allow only those serving in the party for over five years to contest on a presidential ticket.

Tembo: Someone is using district chairpersons
Tembo: Someone is using district chairpersons

“Why should we be doing that? Why don’t we do the same when we are seeking a parliamentary candidate?  We will be ones voting and we will vote for the one we feel is mature enough to lead the party,” he said.

He said although he welcomes the decision of John Tembo to contest he is mindful that the party’s constitution required a leader to serve for two terms.

However speaking during the same program, on Sunday, Tembo trashed Kanzigeni’s remarks saying district chairpersons have no mandate to speak about the party’s candidature but this is the issue of only the NEC and the convention.

He said that he is well aware the chairpersons are speaking for some people who are bent to destroy the party saying they will be known soon.

Koma nkumadziwa kuti muli nkholokolo, Mwalowa, nkholokolo…., dzombe mandowa (we know that there are nasty people who want to destroy the party).

He said constitutionally the district chairpersons are not mandated to hold the meeting on their own.

“And also the way they channelled their deliberations were also faulty because they communicated through a letter about issues that we as NEC never communicated to anyone. Where did they hear that the convention date has been changed? We have never discussed this as NEC,” TembO said maintaining that the convection will be held on August 9th .

The MCP first announced about the convention in March when the date was set to be April 27 before the meet was postponed citing lack of funding and appropriate accommodation as the major problem.

The current MCP leader John Tembo is facing a challenge from 11 candidates who would want to lead the party. But the party’s constitution bars Tembo to seek re-election having exhausted his two mandatory terms.

The challengers include party secretary general Chris Daza; former Malawi Assemblies of God president Lazarus Chakwera; former Farmers Union of Malawi (Fum) president Felix Jumbe; retired Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo and former Cabinet Minister Jodder Kanjere.

Other contestatnts are former secretary general Betson Majoni; MPs Edwin Banda (Nkhotakota central); Watson Makala Ngozo (Lilongwe Mpenu) and Joseph Njobvuyalema (Lilongwe Mapuyu south); and the party’s former director of political affairs Eston Kakhome.

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