Gospel musician Gloria Manong’a has finally taken over the mantle of Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) president after serving in an acting capacity since last year.
The position of president became vacant following the resignation of Bishop Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango in April last year.
Following Mhango’s resignation, Manong’a, who was the vice-president took over leadership in an acting capacity.
However, she could not rise to the position of president and during an extra-ordinary meet in Lilongwe last year, members proposed that the position be contested for again.
But Mum National Executive Committee (Nec), said they had received communication from the government through Ministry of Labour that Manong’a was the president and that she will thus serve the position from April 9 2019 to December 2022.
Nec through Secretary General, Thomas Lupeska, said they had no problem on the confirmation of Manong’a as the president but rather there was a communication breakdown between Mum trustees and Nec.
“The issue has been sorted out between secretariat and trustees and all other players and so we are ready to work with the new president and we urge musicians in the country to support her for the growth of our union,” Lupeska said.
Mum Board Chairperson, Wycliffe Chimwendo, also confirmed the development Wednesday.
“I have a copy of the communication from the Ministry of Labour, who have helped us to get the right interpretation of our situation using the right constitution in their custody,” Chimwendo said.
The veteran gospel musician hailed musicians for being patient with the process.
“I would like to thank musicians for their respect they have accorded to the verdict and decided to move forward together. There are no divisions anymore but one family,” he said.
Chimwendo said it was high time they forgot the past and opened a new chapter of love for one another for the betterment of the union.
Recently some artists came out to announce that they were reviving the association having noted that the union was not benefiting them in some critical areas such as music development.
But Manong’a, insisted that Mum still owns Mam.
“We just need to sit down and map things out otherwise there are a number of groups which are doing musical projects but they are all under the umbrella of Mum. As a body we represent every musician in the country,” she said.
A letter dated March 13 2020 has put the record straight that Manong’a was the president following wrangles which have been on the ground.
“In the event that the vacancy is that of president, then the vice president shall fill the post for the remaining term. This means that upon the resignation of Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango as President of Mum, Gloria Manong’a, who was his vice immediately assumed the vacant position of President,” reads a letter from the Ministry of Labour.
The challenge for Manong’a to assume the presidency came following the amendment of the constitution.