PP polls free, fair and credible—Makande

The governing People’s Party (PP) of President Joyce Banda has described the just ended party’s National Convention, where a new National Executive Committee was elected, as a success and a true reflection of the ideals that the party strands for—Unity, Equity and Development.

Newly-elected PP spokesman Hophmally  Makande told Nyasa Times in his maiden interview in his new capacity that in every contest, there ought to be winners and losers and that the PP Convention was not an exception.

Makande said losing with grace was a mark of wisdom, and it is not proper for losers to allege that the voting process was not free and fair.

One of the losers, Faustace Chirwa, who lost to Ephraim Mganda Chiume in the battle to head the social welfare directorate, has alleged on social media network that women were the most disadvantaged at the elections and that most winners won on the account of splashing money to the delegates.

Makande: Credible polls

She alleges that “the rich won” not because they deserved it but on account of their deep pockets and that others also won because of their close proximity to the President via relationship, for instance.

Chirwa cited the election of Ellis Kumpukwe, the President’s brother-in-law as Third Deputy Director for International Affairs as a case in point.

Kumpukwe won unopposed after his opponent, Levi Luwemba withdrew at the last minute. Luwemba could not contest because he had stood for and won another seat.

But Makande insisted that the elections were free, fair  and credible, saying the “playing field extremely level”. The elected publicist enthused that the party had thought through the whole process as evidenced by the presence of experienced electoral officials from the Malawi Electoral Commission who presided over the voting process led by lawyer Mandala Mabulasa who was returning officer.

“To be related or to be close to the President is not an issue. What matters is what the people have to offer in terms of adding value and entrenching the vision and objectives of the party,” Makande said.

“In any case, most of the founders of the PP fared dismally; some of them rich indeed. There is a case of Honourable Paul Maulidi who was central in managing the nomination process but lost the contest for the Secretary General position.

“Honourable Maulidi lost even after Her Excellency President Banda had decorated him as a brave founding member of the party who fought gallantly for the registration of the party amid serious resistance by the former DPP government,” observed Makande, adding the People’s Party is a breath of fresh air that is now blowing across the Malawian political landscape.

He said any political party that wants to properly take on the momentous task of running government must start at entrenching its intra-party democracy and that the PP has taken a huge step in the right direction through the free and fair polls.

“Now, what it means is that those that are in leadership positions have the mandate of the people,” he said.

He said much as the party understands that a loss is painful, it is imperative for contestants to put the vision of the party at the forefront and work towards achieving it.

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