One of the country’s strongest and valiant female voices, Dr Kholiwe Mkandawire, has finally come out and declared her intentions to stand as Member of Parliament in her home, Mzimba Sosola.
The outspoken politician will compete on opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket and was formally presented to people of Mzimba Sosola by the party’s president, Atupele Muluzi, who is on a whistle stop tour of Northern Region districts.
Parading Mkandawire, the UDF leader urged the crowd that gathered at Mzimba Boma on Wednesday, to vote for the party’s parliamentary torchbearer arguing she was a farsighted leader with the required credentials to develop the area.
However, Mkandawire left the multitude not-so-impressive as they were visibly irked with her constant use of English language during her speech.
The aspirant, one of the few renowned veterinary surgeons, rose to stardom during the blood-spattered 2004 elections as spokesperson of the defunct Mgwirizano Grand Coalition.
She fought the UDF then tooth and nail through her daring orations during meetings and media interviews but went into oblivion after the coalition failed to get into government.
Mkandawire re-emerged in 2011 after an eight-year-out-of-politics period when she was noticed attending UDF meetings.
During the party’s national policy conference held in October Last year in Lilongwe, she was among the key organisers as chairperson of policy sub-committee.
Her elder sister, Getrude Nyamkandawire, a pharmacist, represented Mzimba Sosola as Member of Parliament between 2004 and 2009 as an independent then under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but did not seek fresh mandate (in 2009) when she withdrew from the race and Patrick Akim Mwanza became the eventual winner.
The Mgwirizano Coalition, under the tutelage of veteran politician Gwanda Chakuamba (then President of Republican Party- RP) was an alliance of six political parties which included RP, People’s Progressive Movement (PPM), People’s Transformation Party (PETRA), Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) and Malawi Democratic Union (MDU) of late Amunandife Mkumba.
The alliance became an overnight hit, however, Chakuamba controversially lost the elections to late President Bingu wa Mutharika who stood on UDF ticket which he later ditched to form his own DPP in 2005.
The questionable election results gave rise to a ruinous unrest with several people losing their lives and property after the electorates revolted.
Until today, Chakuamba and members of his alliance still believe the UDF robbed them of their straight victory.
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