President of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) John Tembo will announce his retirement from the leadership of the party at the national convention slated for April 27 to 29 and will not seek a third tme lucky for the country’s presidency, Nyasa Times understands.
As the party closed receiving the nomination forms from the interested candidates Tembo, who says his candidature is between himself and MCP, not the media, submitted his nominations papers as a formality but will announce retirement at convetion, sources said.
Presidential hopefuls who have so far 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.
Nkhotakota central lawmaker Edwin Banda who had earlier expressed interest for the presidency, is not among the candidates.
Former education minister Richard Msowoya is the only candidate gunning for the position of vice-president.
After receiving nomination papers from outspoken Daza, MCP Administrative Secretary Potiphar Chidaya read out the list of presidential hopefuls where Tembo was conspicuously missing.
Chidaya confirmed that closing date for presentation of nomination papers was Tuesday, but pointed out the door will remain open until today, Thursday to accommodate people from outside Lilongwe. Tembo then submitted the nomination papers.
He also said the list of presidential hopefuls he read out Tuesday at the party’s headquarters in Lilongwe is not final, saying it will also be assessed by the party’s credentials committee.
Meanwhile, political analyst Dr Henry Chingaipe has told The Nation that Tembo could not contest during the party’s national indaba.
“I think there have been a few indications earlier that he would … And, if he were going to stand, you would not have seen a lot of people coming forward to contest for the MCP presidency,” he said.
“At the same time, Tembo did not want to fall into a trap of anointing a successor. He left it to the party to do the vetting,” he said.
According to The Nation, born John Zenus Ungapake Tembo, popularly known as JZU by his admirers, the MCP president is perhaps thelongest serving politician in the MCP as well as in the country after he first contested for a parliamentary seat in the pre-independence multiparty elections in 1961.
Rising through the ranks while holding some of the key positions in government, including that of minister of Finance and minister of State and governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, he was one of the key figures in MCP throughout the party’s 30-year rule under founding president, the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :