By Sam Banda Jnr:
Barely a month after Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) elected its national executive headed by Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, the music body held elections for its chapters on Tuesday.
The elections saw some new faces taking up leadership positions particularly in the Central and Northern chapters.
However, there were challenges in the Southern Chapter where Tonney Chitimatima announced that he would not contest due to other challenges.
Following several meetings and communications, Chitimatima was forced to contest again during the elections held at Chrichi Gardens in Blantyre.
Presided over by Eliza Kachali -Kaunda, Favoured Martha and Wycliffe Chimwendo, the contest chairperson saw a battle between Chitimatima and Limbani Simenti.
At the end of it all, Chitimatima retained the position, with Ethel Kamwendo-Banda going unopposed as the vice. At the Women’s Desk, Triza Gunde of Neligo Women’s Choir is the chairperson with Eliza Mponya the vice.
“I am ready to serve again as the chairperson. I would like to thank those who voted for me. Of course, earlier I indicated I would not contest because of some challenges but then later I was cleared. The issue basically concerns me holding another position in the union at the Blantyre Water Board. So, for not that’s what is there,” Chitimatima said.
Reverend Mhango, however, Wednesday insisted there were challenges on the ground pointing out the one in the South.
“We have no ill feelings against Chitimatima, but he is the secretary general for Water Workers Union and the same time at Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) and so there is a huge conflict of interest,” Mhango said.
He added that MCTU advised that Chitimatima should not stand on any executive position.
“Our office did not accept him to stand and we have to discuss with the trustees. We advised him to stand on another position and not chairperson,” Mhango said.
On the way forward, Mhango said they will have to discuss with the trustees and make a statement.
In the Northern Region Chapter, reggae musician Fitzgerald Simfukwe of the ‘Kadundulu’ fame was elected chairperson shrugging off competition from former chairperson Dyghton Mbewe.
The other positions are Martha Nthakomwa (vice chairperson), Chrispin Msiska (secretary), Chimwemwe Zembere (vice secretary) and Eliza Msukwa (treasurer).
“It was tight because I lost with two votes. I wish the new team all the best and as former chairperson I will continue to work with them and assist wherever necessary,” Mbewe said.
Abel Sanena, who is a member of Marvelous Deeds, is now the chairperson of the Central Chapter taking over from Farai Chazima Soko, who did not contest.
“I am happy to take over the mantle of the Central chapter. I am looking forward to work with all the musicians. We want to do more for the development of music,” Sanena said Wednesday.
Sanena’s vice is Vincent Kadzakumanja while the position of secretary went to Honorato Mpandakwawo.
Francis Molisiyo is the vice secretary, braiz Mbira (treasurer general) while the committee members are Maxwell Olloto, Mellina Nimtenga, Francis Kalambule and Stella Kantwanje.
In the Eastern Chapter the chairperson is veteran musician Isaac Liwotcha while Ronald Chigware is the vice.
The others are Thom Damba (secretary), Francis Dangoman Kadango (vice secretary) and Michael Kasito (treasurer).
The executive members are Namwino Chip, Stemark, Gogo Zombolera and Maggie Sapanga.
In the Women’s Desk, Chicco Sungani is the chairperson while the vice is Elizabeth Kadyamphungo, better known as Lizbk.
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