Four Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ward councillors in Blantyre City have shown interest to compete for the city’s mayorship in an election to be held on January 19 this year.
The four are the incumbent Wild Ndipo, who is councillor for Chigumula Ward, Deputy Mayor Joseph Makwinja, who is councillor for Bangwe Ward, Gertrude Chirambo of Namalimwe Ward and Gerald Lipikwe of Limbe Central Ward.
In an interview, Blantyre City Council (BCC) public relations officer Deborah Luka said all the four candidates submitted their nomination papers by December 31 2021.
However, she said the list of candidates contesting for the position of city’s deputy mayor is yet to be released.
Said Luka: “When the list for the deputy mayor is ready, I will surely share with you.”
In separate interviews on Monday, all the aspirants confirmed submitting their nomination papers to contest for Blantyre City mayorship.
Ndipo said when re-elected, he will continue implementing some developmental projects currently underway in the city, but could not disclose the exact projects.
Makwinja said if elected mayor, he will ensure that all the city’s roads, including in townships are rehabilitated and that vendors are removed in the city’s streets
He claimed that he failed to implement some of his plans while serving as deputy mayor, saying it is a delegated position and not all his ideas were adopted.
On her part, Chirambo who will be contesting for the four consecutive terms, but lost in all the elections refused to reveal her plans when elected as Blantyre City Mayor.
But Lipikwe said Ndipo and Makwinja have done their part and the city needs new blood with new ideas.
He said if voted the city’s mayor, he will enhance a cleanup campaign to make the city clean.
Ndipo is bidding for the third term after winning in January 2017 after elections beating former mayor Noel Chalamanda.
He was re-elected in July 19 20219 when he amassed 20 of the 29 votes over Chirambo who got five votes and Eric Mofolo, who amassed four votes.
Blantyre City has 31 eligible voters, out of which 23 are ward councilors and eight are members of Parliament (MPs).
Last month, Malawi Local Government Association (Malga) told The Nation that there is need to review the statutes governing the election of mayors for the country’s city and municipal councils to allow residents take part.
Malga executive director Hadrod Mkandawire said the review should also include removing MPs as voters in mayoral elections.
He said: “We have to carry on with this debate because it has died with the passing of time. We need to have a legislative amendment, but before we do so, there is need to have a serious discussion.”