MCP no longer trimming presidential aspirants: Malawi road to 2014

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says it will no longer trim the number of its presidential aspirants and will instead let delegates to its forthcoming convention to decide the fate of its hopefuls.

Lingson Belekanyama, one of the members of a special committee tasked to scrutinize the candidates, said on Wednesday that the decision to leave the issue in the hands of the convention came up after none of the 12 candidates offered to withdraw voluntarily from the race as requested by the party’s national executive committee (NEC).

Belekanyama, who is also the party’s Director of Research, said this after the party failed to announce the final list despite party President John Tembo indicated to do so in an earlier interview with local radio Zodiak Broadcasting Station.

He said the MCP NEC meeting also failed to agree on a five-year service requirement for one to qualify to contest during the convention.

Felix Jumbe: There is internal propaganda
Felix Jumbe: There is internal propaganda

Belekanyama said the self-withdrawal was agreed upon both when the aspirants met Tembo and also during the NEC meeting last week.

On Tuesday Tembo announced that the party is expected to come up with a final list of the candidates but has since been playing hide and seek on the matter.

Even the chairperson of the organizing committee of the convention Joseph Njobvuyalema and party spokesperson Jolly Kalero have also been elusive on the matter.

Meanwhile, one of the aspirants Felix Jumbe has accused old timers in the party of playing internal propaganda in the process of scrutinizing the candidates as a ploy to demonize some of the candidates.

Some party NEC members have also expressed surprise that the issue of scrutinizing the candidates has become an issue by the party’s leadership yet during the NEC meeting, the members did not make any agreement due to a number of disagreements.

Apart from the five-year requirement, the NEC members also questioned some of the members of the committee which was mandated to scrutinize the candidates.

The committee that was mandated to scrutinize the candidates has Belekanyama, Njobvuyalema, Jean Sendeza, Vitus Dzoole Mwale, Watson Makala-Ngozo, and Yona Kamphantengo.

Ironically, Njobvuyalema and Makala-Ngozo are among those challenging Tembo to the top position.

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