Malawiâ€™s ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) is set to spend K42 million (about $168 000) on its convention which is slated to take place at an undisclosed venue on August 27.
Speaking at a press conference in Lilongwe, chairperson of the partyâ€™s convention publicity subcommittee, Grace Maseko, said the funds have come from well wishers and PP members.
â€œThe party will spend K42 million for the convention. All these funds are coming from well-wishers and members of the Peopleâ€™s Party,â€ said Maseko.
She said the partyâ€™s treasurer general Brown Mpinganjira will give names of the actual sponsors of the convention when he presents his report at the national conference.
â€œOne of the items for the convention is presentation of the treasurer generalâ€™s report and those details could be disclosed at that time. Currently, we are not disclosing any names of these well wishers.
â€œIn fact, some well-wishers have indicated that they donâ€™t want their names to be published. We are also still receiving funds from other well-wishers and party members,â€ said Maseko who was flanked by the partyâ€™s secretary general Henry Chibwana, legal adviser Paul Maulidi and publicity secretary Steven Mwenye at the briefing.
Maulidi said no government funds have been drawn into the partyâ€™s budget for the convention.
â€œAs far as PP is concerned, there is no question of using public funds for the convention. The funds are coming from well-wishers outside the public purse,â€ said Maulidi.
All positions up for grabs
He said all executive positions in the party, including the presidency will be contested at the convention, adding that those interested to contest for the partyâ€™s presidency, vice-presidency or other executive positions must pay K50 000, K40 000 or K30 000 application fees, respectively.
â€œEven Joyce Banda, if she wants to vie for presidency at the convention, she also has to apply like any person. There is nobody who is saying this position is for this person. Nobody should fear anything,â€ said Maulidi.
He said, as of Friday, nobody had collected application forms for the partyâ€™s presidency, adding the party will also elect three vice presidents at the convention for its Northern, Central and Southern provinces.
He said elections for the provincial vice-presidents will not be limited to aspirants from any of the particular regions.
On levelling of the playing field for the partyâ€™s elections, Chibwana said there are no â€œfavoured cows in PPâ€. He said according to the partyâ€™s constitution, all registered PP members are free to compete for any position at the indaba.
â€œThe rumour machinery is the only source of information at the moment and it is rife with names of people who are ready to contest,â€ said Chibwana.
He said the party is currently working on invitation of delegates and special guests to the convention.
Apart from conducting elections of the partyâ€™s national governing council (NGC) and presentation of the treasurer generalâ€™s report, Maseko said the party shall also adopt its constitution at the convention.