Tembo dismisses old age jibe, says ‘I am fit to run for Malawi presidency’

Veteran politician and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president John Tembo has challenged his critics that he cannot quit politics on the basis of old age, saying that he is “fit as a fiddle”.

Tembo has again hinted on his desire to lead MCP in next year’s election if it amends its constitution paving way for his third-time lucky in the presidential race.

The 80-year-old veteran politician is barred by the party constitution to contest for the presidency under the MCP ticket for the consecutive third time and is still strong and ready to retain his Dedza South parliament seat in the 2014 election.

But speaking when he officially opened a school block at Msesa primary school in his Dedza South constituency, Tembo said he was going nowhere as he remains interested to run for presidency on MCP ticket.

Tembo: You are wasting your time
Tembo: You are wasting your time

“Am not tired,” said Tembo, saying his candidature in 2014 will be decided at the MCP convention.

“You don’t assign old age to a person. You wait until he tells you he is tired. I will say when my time is ripe,” Tembo  said.

“You are wasting your time trying to attack me on old age,” said Tembo.

Nkhotakota Central MP Edwin Banda and party secretary-general Chris Daza have declared their interest to run for MCP presidency.

Tembo laughed off suggestions that he was too old to run for presidency.

Although MCP officials rally behind Tembo in public, in private many want him to retire and pass the baton to a younger person as they fear his advanced age may cost the party victory in next year’s election.

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