Tembo ready for 3rd time lucky for Malawi Presidency: ‘2009 MCP votes were stolen’

Veteran politician and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president John Tembo has again hinted on his desire to lead the party 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.

Speaking during Zodiak Broadcasting Station’s programme, Tiuzeni Zoona, on Sunday, Tembo refused to come out clean on whether he will be standing for presidency, but hinted he was ready to run.

Tembo said his candidature in 2014 will be decided at the MCP convention.

Tembo: MCP will bounce back in power 2014
Tembo: MCP will bounce back in power 2014

Asked by presenter Pilirani Phiri to be blunt on whether he will seek nomination to run for presidency, Tembo responded: “I cannot say yes or no to Pilirani Phiri of Zodiak. I am accountable to the people in the villages and the MCP National Executive Committee.”The MCP president has failed in his presidential bid twice, in 2004 and 2009.

But he said during the interview that MCP did not lose the 2009 elections, hinting that they were fraudulent.

“Are you sure that MCP in 2009 lost the elections?” querried Tembo.

Pressed again to comment if he will be the MCP torch bearer in 2014 polls, Tembo snapped: “I already answered this question. Don’t repeat it like a damaged gramophone.”

Tembo also disclosed there were many aspirant politicians interested to run for MCP leadership positions at the upcoming convention.

He, however, said: “A fool is the one who starts saying I am the candidate and starts challenging Tembo in public.”

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

Tembo added: “MCP members have their own ways to express their desirers. The choice of candidates is the responsibility of the convention.”

The MCP president also said the party has been injecting new blood in its rank and file, saying the spirit has not started today but that it has been the tradition, saying he has been a member of parliament for Dedza South Constituency since 1961.

Earlier in the interview , Tembo dismissed  accusations that he has been silenced by the Joyce Banda administration,  because of the appointment  into lucrative positions of his close relatives Morgan Tembo (Escom), Nancy Tembo (Electoral Commission) and his son John Tembo Junior (diplomatic mission in the UK).

Tembo said no Malawian citizen is barred from appointment in the government if they are well-qualified saying not everyone serving in the government machinery is his relation.

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