Tembo says defeat not in his political vocabulary: ‘Munlo is genuine Malawi Congress Party member’

Veteran politician and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president John Tembo has reiterated that he is going to contest at the party’s forthcoming convention, poised to renew his mandate.

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 but said his candidature will be decided by bona fide members of MCP at the convention.

“I will contest,” insisted Tembo when he was featured on Zodiak Broadcasting Service’s Tiuzeni Zoona interview program on Sunday.

“I will follow the rules of the Malawi Congress Party. I am the incumbent party president, elected by the convention. It is up to people at the convention to decide whether I should contest or not,” said Tembo.

Tembo: MCP convention to decide on my candidature
Tembo: MCP convention to decide on my candidature

Asked by host Pilirani Phiri is he was not scared of being defeated by his challengers, Tembo emphatically said: “Defeat does not exists in my vocabulary as far as politics is concerned.”

Apart from Tembo, presidential hopefuls who have presented their nominations papers include former cabinet minister Jodder Kanjere, Malawi Assemblies of God president Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwera, current secretary general Chris Daza, former chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, former MCP secretary general Beston Majoni, former Farmers Union of Malawi (Fum) President Felix Jumbe and former MCP director of political affairs Eston Kakhome.

Tembo said Chakwera is an MCP member and that he has been a regular visit to his Area 10 posh residence in Lilongwe for prayers with his family.

He however said it is not him who asked the ‘man of God’ to run for presidency in MCP.

“I did not tell Chakwera to run for MCP presidency as some sections of the media portrayed,” said Tembo explaining that the charismatic religious leader was exercising his rights to contest.

On Munlo, the MCP president said former Chief of Justice is a “genuine member of MCP and once acted as secretary general.”

“At no point did Munlo withdraw his membership from MCP,” said Tembo.

On former MCP president Gwanda Chakuamba who has asked to rejoin the party, Tembo said Chakuamba is politically nomadic.

Tembo also confirmed that the party has put a   checklist for aspirants to satisfy in order to be eligible to contest for any position in the party.

As per the checklist, aspirants must be Malawian citizens who are bona fide members of MCP with no criminal record for the past seven years and must have sound educational background, five years’ experience in the MCP and must adhere to the four cornerstones upon which the party was found on.

Again, all aspirants must not have served any other political party in Malawi.

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