Former ruling party, Peoples Party (PP) has said Joyce Banda remains the sole candidate for party presidency after her only known contender pulled out of the race as he has not filed his nominations.
PP spokesperson Noah Chipeni said a senior official of the party Leonard Mphiza pulled out of the party presidential race.
“Her Excellency Joyce Banda is the only candidate who has shown interest to contest when we hold the convention this month. The other candidate t, I think he pulled out long ago,” said Chipeni.
Peoples Party is expected to hold the convention on August 30 after Malawi Congress Party (MCP) convention which saw Lazarus Chakwera go unopposed for the party presidential race, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which saw president Peter Mutharika go unopposed after intimidation and harassment of his sole challenger vice president Saulos Chilima and his supporters and the United Democratic Front (UDF) convention which saw Atupele Muluzi go unopposed.
Mphiza, who is PP Deputy Regional Secretary for the South, has however said he is still aspiring to contest after meeting Neno district’s party committee where he urged them to rally behind him at the convention.
He said has already set aside over K30 million to help him run for the position.
“I have already started approaching delegates in all the regions in the country making sure that when we go to the convention I come out strong and I am very positive I am going to give her a good run for her money,” he said.
But PP Secretary General Ibrahim Matola said Mphiza should come to the party’s headquarters to collect the nomination forms for the position.
Mphiza bagan his political life in 2009 and he lost a race for local Government Election for Chikonde ward in Neno North in 2014 to DPP’s Macpherson Dzimazi.
He is a graduate from University of Liverpool in Zimbabwe where he studied Business Administration and has worked with Blantyre Print and Kandodo McConnell. Meanwhile he is heading a Construction Company in Neno.
On his chances to defeat Banda, Mphinza said: “In politics, everything is possible.”
Banda already declared her interest to contest in next year’s tripartite elections.
But despite making her ambitions known, Banda stressed that her People’s Party members would have to decide during their national convention on whether she should be the party’s torchbearer in the 2019 elections.
Banda became president in April 2012 as a constitutional requirement after the death of then president Bingu wa Mutharika.
In the 2014 Tripartite Elections, she came third behind MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera and left the country immediately after Mutharika was sworn in May 2014.
Despite some good strides she made, her tenure was characterised by the plunder of public resources in government known as Cashgate.
Political analyst Ernest Thindwa said people are not eager to challenge party presidents during conventions because parties in Malawi are run like personal estates.
“It is either the founders have to go unchallenged or they will just pick their children or relations for the presidency of the party, they run parties like personal farms,” said Thindwa.
Mutharika inherited the DPP from his brother, Bingu, Atupele inherited the UDF from his father Bakili while Joyce Banda is grooming her son Roy Kachali to take over after she retires from active politics.
In Alliance for Democracy, Enoch Chihana is tussling with Karonga central MP Frank Mwenifumbo for the leadership of the party which was led for late Chakufwa Chihana, father of Enock.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :