Member of Parliament (MP) for Blantyre City East, John Bande — who was re-elected into the august House as an independent, has decided to rejoin the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that propelled him to prominence since 2005.
Bande was warmly welcome into the DPP fold by his Blantyre City East constituents at meeting held at their office in Makhetha where they merged Constituency committee with the one he worked with during the campaign so that they can start working together.
Also in attendance were all three councillors the Constituency — Mary Kachale (Mkolokoti Ward); Emmanuel Matewere of Mapanga Ward and Limbe Central Ward’s Gerald Lipikwe
Others present were DPP’s regional representative, Mai Chateka and her team and Limbe District Governor, Eric Motifala and his team.
Lipikwe said everyone was just happy that Bande has decided to come back to his political family, saying “DPP has an open policy party and it welcomes everyone, new or old to join the party.”
“It pleased Hon. John Bande to come back after realizing that he did a lot of development projects in the area, through the DPP and there is need to carry on where he left off.
“This was just a follow up meeting as you are aware that our Vice-president South, Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa had a meeting last week with the senior party senior officials, where John Bande was also present.
“Even last week when President Mutharika was meeting the MPs, he was also there. In short, Hon. Nankhumwa is the one who facilitated this.
“He was warmly welcome and both sides were happy with the development. Even DPP National Executive Committee (NEC) is very much happy with the development as his coming back will help garner a lot of votes for Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika,” Lipikwe said.
After the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, Bande joined the then President Joyce Banda’s People’s Party towards the 2014 elections but he got defeated by the then DPP candidate Noel Masangwi, who garnered 14,012 votes against Bande’s 11,015 on the PP ticket.
He then went into obscurity and resurfaced for the 2019 elections as an independent in which Bande overwhelmingly defeated DPP candidate Alex Chimwala by 25,813 to 6,479.
During the campaign of the 2019 tripartite election, the former Cabinet Minister had pledged to come back on a higher level than before if given the mandate again into the august House.
He had said that after his defeat, he took stock of what he had achieved and during the four-year ‘forced holiday’ he discovered that nothing much had surpassed what he achieved in Blantyre City East constituency in his tenure of office which he held since 2005.
During his tenure of office, he initiated the construction of new Makhetha Primary School complete with teachers’ houses.
He also initiated the construction of new Kizito Secondary School, new Nanjiriri Secondary School and also built Kumpata Primary School.
He also facilitated for a new Nanthoka Police wing, new Kizito primary and a new wing at Limbe Girls Primary as well as facilitating for new teachers’ houses at Chichiri, Makalanga, Kizito, Nkolokoti and Limbe Girls primary schools while Limbe and Kanjedza primary schools were provided with boreholes for agriculture lessons
A new bridge was built at Nanthoka while Limbe was facilitated with a new flea market. Porridge feeding shelters were provided for all 11 primary schools as well as school libraries and water selling kiosks in all corners employing over a 100 people.
Bande, who has a Masters in Political Leadership obtained from the University of Liverpool, did his primary school education at St Kizito and Limbe primary schools before going to Mzimu Woyera Seminary in Chikwawa for his high school.
He later did accounting at Malawi College of Accountancy and at Polytechnic Management Centre as well as Project Management at Malawi Institute of Management.
He has represented the DPP and the People’s Party and served as Cabinet Minister in several portfolios — trade and industry; lands and urban development; tourism; labour; mining and as deputy minister of information and government spokesperson.
During the campaign, Bande had said during his five-year ‘sabbatical leave’ he felt that his “change of allegiance in the past few years from one party to another might have not been welcomed by all constituents”.
“So, I decided to be an independent this time around so that we can work in unity and be available to all. My passion to develop the area is because it made me what I am having been born and bred here,” he had said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :