Malawiâ€™s President Joyce Banda and her deputy Khumbo Kachali have sailed through unopposed as Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) president and vice-president, respectively, at a convention where the partyâ€™s old guards, Brown Mpinganjira and Clement Stambuli, have been defeated by new comers.
The indaba, held in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre on Monday, has seen former United Democratic Front (UDF) heavy weight Cassim Chilumpha being elected PPâ€™s vice president for the Central Region (political affairs) after scooping 1 253 votes against Stambuliâ€™s 478. Former Maravi Peopleâ€™s Party leader Uladi Mussa got 277 votes, Makono Banda had 35 votes and William Nkhono had one vote.
Stambuli joined PP at its early stage while Chilumpha and Mussa switched to the ruling party in April soon after change of the countryâ€™s leadership following the death of the late Bingu wa Mutharika.
Mpinganjira, who was treasurer general since PP formation, was the second casualty after being beaten by Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia as vice president for the Southern Region (administrative) with 1 700 votes. Mpinganjira had 276 votes. Kachali is in charge of the Northern Region (operations).
Secretary General Henry Chibwana retained his position with 1 200 votes, defeating another founder of the party, Paul Maulidi, who had 573 votes. Maulidi was director of legal affairs before the convention.
George Zulu was elected first deputy secretary general after scooping 1 694 votes against his former Malawi Congress Party colleague Boniface Kadzamira who got 190 votes.
In his reaction to the loss, Stambuli said he was not bitter with the results because in any election, one candidate has to win.
“People have voted and one candidate had to win, so Chilumpha has won,” said Stambuli. “I am not bitter because I went into the party to serve and I will continue to serve in any capacity.
More results are yet to follow.