As Joyce Banda and her deputy Khumbo Kachali were all smiles after going unopposed as Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) president and vice-president (operations), respectively, it was political tears for some PP old guards, Brown Mpinganjira and Clement Stambuli, who were trounced by newcomers.
Former United Democratic Front (UDF) heavy weight and Minister of Energy and Mines Cassim Chilumpha was elected vice-president (political) after scooping 1 253 votes against Stambuliâ€™s 478 while former Malavi Peopleâ€™s Party leader Uladi Mussa got 277 votes. Chris Chaima Banda got 35 votes and William Nkhono got one vote.
Stambuli joined PP at its early stage while Chilumpha and Mussa joined 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 PPâ€™s formation, was the second casualty after being beaten by Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia on the position of vice-president (administration) with 1 700 votes against 276.
Secretary general Henry Chibwana retained his position with 1 200 votes, defeating another party founder Paul Maulidi who got 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.
Former Democratic Progressive Party Northern Region governor Frank Mwenifumbo was trusted with 1 186 votes to become the second deputy secretary general after beating Masauko White who got 749 votes.
As women continue to claim their space, Deputy Health Minister Harima Daudi floored two menâ€”Peter Kamange and Nowa Chimpeniâ€”on the position of first deputy treasurer general while Mangochi South law maker Yusuf Matumula defeated Samuel Kaphuka and Ronald Chamthunya as second deputy treasurer general.
Stambuli not bitter
In his reaction to the loss, Stambuli, who was in 2009 nominated by former president Bakili Muluzi as his running mate, said he was not bitter with the results because he understands that in any election, one candidate has to win.
Said Stambuli: â€œI am not bitter because I went into the party to serve and I will continue to serve in any capacity.â€
The elections for the rest of the positions continued as we went to press.