Joyce Banda, founder and president of People’s Party (PP), is expected to retain her position during her party’s national convention at Robin’s Park hall in Blantyre slated to start on Thursday, August 30, 2018.
According to chairman of the PP national convention committee, Dr. Jerry Jana, all national Executive Committee positions will be up for grabs.
Delegates are expected to elect president of the party, who becomes the automatic presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential elections, four vice presidents for southern, central, eastern and northern regions, treasurer general, secretary general, organizing secretary, publicity secretary and their deputies, among other top positions.
However, Jana refused to divulge any information about who is contesting who and what position, saying that information will only be available after the official opening on Thursday morning.
He could also not reveal how much the party would spend during the national convention.
“All I can inform you is that all is set for the national convention Thursday. All delegates from across the country have arrived in Blantyre and so far I have not heard about any hiccups,” he told Nyasa Times in a telephone interview from Blantyre.
Banda faces a less known Leonard Mphinza who is PP regional secretary for the South in presidential party primaries likely to be won by the former president.
Party spokesperson Noah Chipeni said the presidential race is not staged.
Chipeni said: “He has not been hand-picked. We have the real intraparty democracy in our party. Other parties made sure their leaders did not have challengers, the situation is different in PP.”
Political scientist Mustafa Hussein said if the coming in of Mphinza to challenge Banda was not staged, then PP was going in a right direction on intra party democracy.
Banda was President of Malawi between 2012 and 2014. She is credited for Joyce Banda for building the country and uplifting the socioeconomic status of Malawians. The Malawi economy ebbed to its knees in the last days of the late Bingu wa Mutharika, her predecessor, which was characterized by sky-rocketing inflation, fuel and forex scarcity, and frequent blackouts, among others.
When JB, as she is fondly called by her adorers, came on the scene, the long fuel queues immediately became a thing of the past; blackouts that characterized Bingu’s reign also became a thing of the past and there were no blackouts throughout the reign of Joyce Banda.
Banda is also credited for introducing some of the boldest corrective reforms never introduced in the history of the country. Within two years, she was firmly on the right socio-economic development path, and her government was able to implement an Economic Recovery Plan (ERP), which helped the economy to grow from 1.8 percent to 6.3 percent and improved the status of fuel for a day to 15 days’ fuel supply.
She also established the Ministry of Good Governance whose primary mandate was to draw up a comprehensive work plan for dealing with corruption and plunder of public resources. Banda also scored highly on other pro-poor projects such as Farm Input Subsidy; a cow per family and Mudzi Transformation Fund.
She is likely to campaign on some of these achievements ahead of tripartite elections next year if she is given the nod by the national convention to be PP’s torchbearer in the next two days.
This will be the party’s second convention after its formation in 2011.
PP was formed in April 2011 after Banda, alongside Khumbo Kachalu, were expelled from the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in December 2010 for allegedly forming parallel structures in the party.
It first convention was held on August 27 and 28 2012 after Banda became president in April 2012 following the death of the then president Bingu wa Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :