Mikaya challenges Mbalaka for PP regional chairman post

Blantyre based businessman Steve Mikaya has declared his intention to contest for the position of People’s Party (PP) Southern Province Chairperson during elections to be conducted this weekend.

But the development has not gone down well with interim Provincial Chairperson for the South, Ali Mbalaka, who has described the move as ‘selfish”.

Mikaya, a good public orator, has confirmed that he will contest for the position of Provincial Chairperson, barely a week after joining President Joyce Banda’s PP from DPP.

Mikaya: Vies for regional chairman post for south in PP

But Mbalaka has slammed  Mikaya for joining the party in order to get position.

He said Mikaya is not eligible to stand because he does not know the party structure since he joined PP only last week.

“Actually, we have not scrutinized him because we only welcomed him last week. He is also yet to come to my office to declare his intention to contest in the elections. So, I can actually say we do not yet recognize him as a member of the party,” said Mbalaka.

However, Deputy PP Publicity Secretary Ken Msonda has contradicted Mbalaka, saying any member is eligible to contest for any position so long as they are party members.

In the case of Mikaya,  Msonda said although he has not received any official communication from him on his intention to stand, the party cannot bar him from doing so since he is a member.

He said any position in the party is up for grab as PP’s main focus is on the 2014 General Elections.

“Politics is a game of numbers; the more chances you have, the higher the chances of winning. So, we don’t have to limit ourselves because of positions, we should leave the door open for everybody to join the party and contest for any position of their choice,” said Msonda.

Observers have said Mikaya poses a threat to Mbalaka because of his good public speaking skills.

Mikaya said he has joined PP because of Banda’s sound economic policies.

He disclosed that he joined the party not because of positions but to strengthen it.

Mikaya becomes the third official to aspire for the position of Provincial Chairman. Mbalaka and Harvey Mwalabu have also expressed interest.

Chairperson for the provincial elections Paul Maulidi said PP has started with elections for its provincial committees – first for a ruling party in the country in almost a decade – in preparation for a national convention next month.

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