Local government minister Kondwani Nankhumwa as said he has no ambitions to be president, saying he is just a servant of the people serving under President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika although analysts believe he remains a strong youthful politician to succeed the incumbent in the party.
Nankhumwa, 40, was recently elected as the party’s vice president responsible for southern region.
In an exclusive interview published in the Malawi News edition of Saturday, September 22, 2018, Nankhumwa also denies that he “has steadily become very powerful” because when the President left for China recently, events at the airport portrayed him being left in charge of the country.
“I don’t agree with you that I have become very powerful. What I know is that as a servant of the people serving under President Professor Mutharika, I make sure that I perform the roles I have to the best of my ability.
“When the President leaves the country, he appoints a senior government official to officially see him off. It is that official who also dismisses the military guard of honour at the airport after the President has flown off. In the absence of other deserving senior cabinet members or government officials, I was privileged to perform that role. It is the prerogative of His Excellency the President to choose who performs that role as he leaves the country,” he told the weekend publication, explaining that the President is always in-charge of the affairs of state even when he is outside the country.
Nankhumwa, who is also MP for Mulanje central and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, explained that his vision is to foster “unity of purpose” among members of DPP in the region to ensure that DPP wins all 54 constituencies, all wards and that President Professor Mutharika wins the presidential race in 2019 with maximum votes.
“I have been meeting regional, district and constituency committee members to discuss how to outgrow our various frustrations and regroup as one entity. My overriding preoccupation as VP shall be to ensure party cohesion in the southern region,” said Nankhumwa.
He said the DPP in southern region was not shaken by the newly formed United Transformation Movement (UTM), which is led by state Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima.
Said Nankhumwa: “New movements and other opposition parties are promising Malawians the moon. This has created some euphoria among the people. However, I am certain that when the dust finally settles, in the not-too-distant future, it will be evident that it is only the DPP and its leadership who pursue pro-poor growth policies to sustainably reduce poverty and inequality across the country.
“DPP has made tremendous strides in fulfilling our manifesto pledges since 2014. We have remained faithful to our pledges such as the 20 member cabinet; consistent fuel supply; and fuel price stabilization. The economy has been growing steadily since 2014, achieving single digit inflation rate and stable exchange rate. We have also recorded good performance in implementing other programmes such as the FISP, the establishment of community technical colleges and improved roads and other infrastructure development. DPP’s track record speaks for itself; we have been tried and tested,” said Nankhumwa.
He added that “these are some of the reasons the DPP shall always be a dominant political party not only in the southern region but the entire Malawi”.
Nankhumwa denied suggestions that he was too young for his present position, saying he is capable of carrying out the responsibilities that the position entails, having served as Mulanje central MP for two consecutive terms, DPP director of elections, cabinet minister and Leader of the House.
“These are no lesser positions,” said Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa acknowledges the “critical role” media plays in the social, economic and political development of any nation, adding the media is also a vital tool for creating awareness about the electoral process.
“In the run-up to the 2019 elections, I wish to encourage my fellow politicians to avoid either abusing journalists for their selfish interests or attacking them physically or otherwise. President Mutharika is a firm believer in media freedom.
“Journalists must work in a free environment as long as they do so within the bounds of professional ethics and the law,” he concluded.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :