In an unprecedented move, the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) continues to attract more high-profile aspirants to its presidency ahead of its convention, prompting a political scientist to suggest this is a sign the party is regaining people’s confidence.
Yesterday, newly retired chief justice Lovemore Munlo, who bid farewell to the Judiciary last week, officially joined the race for the MCP presidency with presentation of his nomination papers.
Chancellor College’s political scientist Blessings Chinsinga on Monday hinted that the current leadership scramble in MCP was a sign that Malawians have lost confidence in new political parties that emerged following the coming of multiparty democracy in 1993.
He said in an interview: “This is a matter of going back home. People feel that time has come for MCP to go back to power looking at the developments in the country [that] are based on the same foundations laid by the MCP government.”
Chinsinga said it was interesting that whereas it took 30 years for MCP to rule the country under one party dictatorship, people are already tired with the current administrators barely 20 years on.
Chinsinga also said the current aspirants are being moved by the fact that they know that current MCP president John Tembo has lost grip of the party.
Besides Munlo, Tembo was also expected to present his nomination papers yesterday ahead of the closing date today.
In an interview on Monday, Munlo confirmed to have thrown himself into the race.
He said: “I am one of the senior citizens in this country and we are talking of our country. We are talking about the future of our country. We, therefore, have to give people choices. We have to give hope to the people that everything is not lost and that there are people who are ready to serve.”
Before his appointment as chief justice during the DPP regime, Munlo, who obtained his first law degree from the University of Malawi (Unima), served in various portfolios in government. He also served in several positions in international bodies such as deputy registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania and registrar of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
In an interview yesterday, MCP administrative secretary Potiphar Chidaya, who confirmed having received Munlo’s papers, also disclosed that apart from Assemblies of God president the Reverend Lazarus Chakwera and Jodder Kanjere, the party’s former political affairs director Eston Kakhome also submitted his papers.
Kakhome, who holds a Master’s degree in Political Theology, said among his credentials he once held the position of political director in the MCP and was also a member of the national consultative council during the transition from one-party rule to multiparty between 1992 and 1994.
Other people who have expressed interest to contest include party president John Tembo, secretary general Chris Daza and Nkhotakota Central MP Edwin Banda.