Renowned gospel musician Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango on Friday beat fellow veteran Charles Sinetre with a landslide margin to retain the presidency of the Music Union of Malawi (MUM).
Sinetre, the only contender to the post, could only muster 13 of the 54 votes cast at the union’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Kamuzu Institute of Sports in Lilongwe.
The Balaka-based giant was not the only casualty during the election that saw a massive overhaul in the national executive committee.
Lazi Nkhata, seeking a re-election, was piped to the vice presidency by Martha Pingasa alias Favoured Martha while Thomas Lupeska retained his general secretary position; so too did treasurer Young Chilaga. Fredrick Yotamu is now Lupeska’s vice, having seen off Diwa Khwiliro. Pingasa also saw off competition from Patrick Simakweli and Bertha Nkhata.
The women desk was not spared of the overhaul changes as Martha Mituka defeated Eliza Kachali Kaunda to the post of chairperson. She will be deputised by Ethel Kamwendo Banda while Brenda Chombo Banda and Annie Mambo were elected secretary and treasurer, respectively. Maggie Mangani is Chombo-Banda’s vice.
In an interview after the polls, Mhango noted: “I wasn’t really surprised that the majority settled for me in the end. I think what we did together, as a union, over the past three years speaks volumes of a union rearing to leave its mark on the country’s music scene. I think it was only fair that the vision be maintained for the sake of progress,
“I thank everyone who voted for me. It speaks a lot of the confidence they have in me, as a person, and also in my leadership qualities. But above all, I am grateful to God for the guidance and wisdom.” He added.
After the polls, Sinetre pledged to work with Mhango.
“People only compete just to uphold the spirit of democracy, and it was the same with us; with everyone here who took part. Otherwise, we are all one family and we can achieve all our aspirations if we stick together.”
Mhango also hinted that he would take Sinetre’s ideas aboard to help pull the union forward.