Reverend Soko unopposed in PP north regional polls

Reverend Brown Soko took the post of northern Provincial  (regional) Chairperson of the ruling People’s Party (PP) for the next five years without a single vote cast during regional elections held in Mzuzu on Monday.

Apart from members of the Province, who were automatic delegates, four delegates from the party’s 25 political districts also attended the elections held at Marymount Secondary School.

Earlier delegates had proposed that in cases where they were other contestants, voting should be by standing behind their preferred blindfolded candidates and the elections team led by PP’s director of legal services Paul Maulidi as chairperson, spokesperson Stephen Mwenye and national deputy director of youth Steve Njobvuyalema adopted people’s wishes.

Rev Soko: Sails unopposed

Voting

There was no nomination of candidates as the electoral team was first calling names of people who were already on interim committee of the Provincial committee and they would ask “Alipo akufuna kupikisana ndi awa? Alipo?” and then as if well rehearsed they would respond in unison “Ayi, Ayi”

Soko’s triumph set precedence as many other positions in the 100 plus strong member committee were just rubber stamped by chants of “Yomweyo! Yomweyo! Yomweyo!”

A very senior party official told Nyasa Times in private interviews that the near ‘blanket endorsement’ was meant to firewall new entrants especially those from the DPP.

“That is why you saw that many people who joined from DPP were barred from entering the premises despite being bona fide delegates,” the official said.

The party’s conduct is a direct infringement of the PP’s open door policy as trumpeted by President Joyce  Banda at many fora’s.

Similarly, Cliff Kondowe also got through unopposed to retain the post of Provincial chairperson for women and Lackson Stambuli retained the Region’s Director of Youth and is deputized by Lapken Thindwa of the famous DPP youth cadet.

The only major casualties are John Goodwin Mvula, who was former first deputy Provincial Chairperson who lost to Rumphi based Roosevelt Mayuni by 114 votes to six and Lucy Kaluwa, former deputy Provincial chairperson for women, who failed to amass even a single vote. The post went to new comer Olipa Muyaba.

Mayuni had earlier wanted journalists thrown out of the conference accusing them of destroying PP despite the fact that the journalists both from state and private media had been officially invited.

“We don’t want reporters here. They are the ones messing the party,” shouted Mayuni in a horse voice. But he failed to justify his claims.

Democratic

Before the elections Maulidi said the conduct of the elections throughout the country is testament to the world that PP is the only democratic party in Malawi and that it does what it membership wants.

“Other parties are only democratic in their names and have never conducted any elections,” said Maulidi, to jeers of “DPP!!, DPP!!”

Soko described his triumph as a vote of confidence from the party’s membership that he could stir the region’s politics in the right directions.

As if reading from the Party President’s script Mrs. Joyce Banda, Soko said he is a leader and not a ruler.

“If you are a leader you have to balance people’s interest with party policy,” said Soko.

He said his legacy would be to ensure that he puts PP MPs in all constituencies in the northern region.

Similarly, Kondowe said she would want to ensure that of all PP MPs in the north, half should be women.

Kondowe: Elected Provincial chairperson for women

PP delegates at the north conference waiting to be allowed to enter the hall

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