PP launches UK wing, call for Malawi patriotism

Malawi’s de facto ruling People’s Party on Saturday launched an external wing  in the UK at a function which was held in Manchester.

Malawians who attended the launch mostly dressed in orange, the colour of the PP which is led by new Head of State , Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda.

Interim chairman of the wing, Hannington Gondwe, hailed President Banda for standing firm during the “time of adversity” under  late president Bingu wa Mutharika when she stuck  to her constitutional mandate to fight for the well being of the ordinary Malawians.

He called on Malawians in the UK to join PP and help the Banda administration , urging Malawians to be “patriotic” to the country as it engages in economic recovery .

Also speaking at the launch was coordinator of Malawi Diaspora Forum, Thom Chiumia, who was invited as a guest.

Chiumia said his grouping had engaged in activism against the autocratic government of Mutharika and pursued a regime change agenda which he said had come through “other means”.

He said there is “confidence” in President Banda to restore democracy, rule of law and deal away with oppressive laws enacted during the Mutharika regime.

But he warned of more activism if the PP government will walk away from the aspirations of Malawians, especially on good governance, democracy, transparency and accountability.

Chiumia, who is also editorial director of Nyasa Times, encouraged Banda to continue with appointing people in positions on merit not nepotism as it were in Mutharika administration and “lead a government of all talents.”

Chipi  Mpinganjira, PP UK Wing deputy chairman said the party is geared towards “transforming Malawi” into a prosperous nation.

He said  President Banda is “ a symbol of hope and democracy “.

Batson Divala, a lawyer who is secretary of the PP UK wing outlined the party manifesto to members based on “three cornerstones of unity, equity and development.”

Director of women affairs, Ngina Samantha Warren said  President Banda has been a beacon of hope for women in Malawi for decades and that now she has ascended to the top job, she stands to lift its citizens–women and men equally–toward democracy and a better future.

“It is for us women to embrace this positive change and remember that in the area of political participation, we should not accept barriers which have been laid out by the out fashioned gendered stereotypes that have for a long time degraded the position of women in society.  We should rise to the challenge and see this as our breakthrough for meaningful political participation in the truly democratic Malawi,” said Warren clad in an orange dress.

“This is my call to us women to support Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda in creating a better Malawi for women, for children for men and for the future generations,” Warren added.

She said cultural attitudes which constrain women’s involvement in politics which persist among men and women have been challenged by the Presidency of Banda., saying high political participation of women will help to tackle the issues of poverty, low access to basic education by girls, high illiteracy, sexual violence, high infant and maternal mortality rates, HIV/AIDS among other things.

“Women have God given abilities of nurturing and we need to be seeing strong political women who will bring nurturing into policies which affect the majority of Malawians living in poverty and deprivation,” said Warren.

Director of ceremonies Kondi Bowoyeke Munthali took the opportunity of the launch to announce the PP’s ‘Tiuzeni Campaign’ which asks people to put their input to the party’s manifesto.

The members voiced their views which included the issue of dual citizenship to be considered.

Unlike when the DPP was in power and launched its wing in Manchester last month where Malawi Embassy officials dominated, the PP launch had no official from the embassy.

Pastor Gombe and his wife Wanangwa of Living Waters Church prayed for the  leadership of PP to steer Malawi into posterity.

Group photo of PP members

The audince listening to speeches

Ngina Warren: Speech making

PP UK interim committee: From left Chipi Mpoinganjira, Hannington Gondwe, Ngina Warren, Batson Divala and Kondi Munthali

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