Blantyre and Mzuzu cities yesterday elected mayors and their deputies to fill the vacancies that have existed since 2005 when local councils were dissolved.
This came after Lilongwe City Council on Tuesday elected former primary school teacher and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) councillor Willie Chapondera, 68, as mayor and 27-year-old entrepreneur and independent councillor for Lilongwe Chimutu Ward Akwame Bandawe, as the deputy mayor.
In Mzuzu, 29-year-old William Mkandawire was elected mayor. He is a science and mathematics teacher at his family’s Hard Target Secondary School in his Mchengautuwa Ward having obtained a Bachelor of Social Science degree from Chancellor College of the University of Malawi in 2010.
His deputy is his fellow People’s Party (PP) councillor Frazer Chunga, 52.
In his acceptance speech, the self-acclaimed believer in team play said: “I am excited at the victory. I ask my fellow councillors to bury our party differences and work together to develop the city. This is our city; it’s our Malawi.
“Apart from reducing malaria, road problems, I will ensure that security is tight so as to attract more investors.”
Mzuzu City has 15 wards and the councillors were sworn in by Dick Sankhulani, registrar of the High Court registry in Mzuzu.
In Blantyre, hell broke loose at Blantyre City Council (BCC) Civic Centre offices when governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youths disrupted the elections of mayor and deputy mayor.
The irate youths demanded the inclusion of DPP director of youth Louis Ngalande on the list of the three contestants after he had voluntarily withdrawn his candidature on Tuesday.
The DPP youngsters conquered security officers and pushed their way through into the chamber that for 40 minutes business came to a standstill.
Presiding officer for the elections, Emmanuel Ted Nandolo, who is also BCC chief executive officer, had to trick them that the polls had been postponed to a later date, but immediately after the disorderly youths left, the members reconvened to proceed with their business.
During the elections, 39-year-old private practice lawyer Noel Chalamanda (independent) was overwhelmingly voted as the new mayor of Blantyre City after amassing 23 votes against seven for DPP George Chipwete while Getrude Chirambo, independent councillor, got one vote.
The councillors also voted Wild James Ndipo as deputy mayor after he got 13 votes beating fellow DPP councillors Joseph Nyson Makwinja, Evans Taulo and Joyce Connie Malunga who got 11, five and two votes respectively.
In his brief acceptance speech, Chalamanda said his election marked a milestone in his life and was the beginning of new challenge for all councillors to ensure that they raise the standards of the city.
Said Chalamanda: “We have just began the journey that we wanted to go on. Together we shall regenerate, recreate and resuscitate the city of Blantyre which has so many things which are currently undesirable.”
Meanwhile, Kasungu and Luchenza municipalities will hold their elections tomorrow and on 22 July respectively.