Assemblies of God president the Reverend Dr Lazarus Chakwera on Friday morning presented his nomination papers for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential contest. The move affirmed his decision to join the race to lead the party in the 2014 tripartite elections.
So far the charismatic man of God is the only one who has handed in the nomination papers for the party’s hot seat, according to MCP administrative secretary Potiphar Chidaya.
However, indications are that Chakwera is likely to face the party’s secretary general Chris Daza and current president John Tembo at the convention scheduled for April 27 in Lilongwe.
In an interview soon after the brief ceremony held at the party’s regional headquarters in Lilongwe, Chakwera expressed confidence that he will win the party’s presidency although he is regarded as an outsider within the party’s hierarchy.
“I am confident that I will make it. If I was not confident, I would not have presented the papers. However, I will respect people’s choices,” he said.
Chakwera said he joined politics and is contesting as the MCP president with the belief that such political leadership was one of God’s ministries.
“Sometimes God’s will grows on you. This is service to the nation in a different capacity from the one that I have been holding up to now,” he said.
On whether he is qualified to contest for the MCP presidential candidacy, Chakwera said that will be determined by the people who will vote during the convention.
MCP director of campaign Joseph Njobvuyalema said for one to contest for the party presidency, he or she should be a bona fide member of the party for atleast five years, a Malawian citizen of sound education and have no criminal record.
Chakwera, using a blue Toyota Prado registration KU 4092 accompanied by a convoy of almost 12 cars, arrived at the MCP national headquarters at around 10.50 hours, but later proceeded to the regional office where he was told that Chidaya was not in.
He later presented his papers to regional chairperson Daniel Mlomo at the regional office in Area 3.
Mlomo said he would hand over the papers to Chidaya later in the day.
In a recent interview with Nation on Sunday, Chakwera said he has the credentials to represent a new face of hope and the future that Malawians need.
The 58-year-old religious leader comes from Lilongwe, holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Malawi; a bachelor of theology (Hons) from the University of the North, Sovenga, South Africa; master of theology from the University of South Africa and a PhD from Trinity International University in USA.