Former Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda says he is surprised with growing reports linking him to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) running mate position in the 2019 elections.
The former DPP secretary general took a break from frontline politics in 2013, following his defeat to President Peter Mutharika during the party’s convention in the race to choose its candidate in the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
However, the former Speaker reappeared on the scene a few months ago with his presence at high-profile government events mostly presided over by Mutharika.
His most recent appearance was last Saturday in Mangochi during the launch of community technical colleges initiative for the Eastern Region by Mutharika.
His presence has also stirred speculations that the former Nkhotakota North legislator is being considered for 2019 running mate position.
But in an interview yesterday, Chimunthu-Banda said he was stunned that all of a sudden he has become a centre of attraction with links to the running mate issue.
He said he was surprised that people were reading too much into his public appearance now when he has been doing so since 2014.
Said Chimunthu-Banda: “Since 2014 I have appeared in these public functions. I am surprised that it is now becoming a centre of attraction. As and when there is time for me to attend I do attend but I am surprised with all sorts of theories coming out recently.”
Among others, he said since 2014 he had attended public events at Ndata Farm in Thyolo, at the official opening of Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe and more than five times at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc).
On the issue of running mate, Chimunthu-Banda said: “There is nothing of that nature. But again which party can begin talking about running mate issue two years before the elections? You know the local politics, nowhere have issues of running mate been discussed and resolved two years before polling.” n