Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) Board of Trustees has made a U-turn on their earlier decision that there would be election of president during an extra-ordinary meeting scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Lilongwe.
A letter which The Daily Times has seen signed by secretary of the board, Wellington Chatepa, says that after wide consultations on the issue of succession to the president prior to the end of the term, the union has been urged to desist from violating its own constitution which was duly put in force with the blessings of the government.
The letter says in its role as the umbrella body of trade unions in the country, Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) has advised Mum with reference to the constitution to recognise gospel musician Gloria Manong’a as the legitimate president.
Manong’a has been leading the music body in an acting capacity following the resignation of Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango in April this year.
However, Manong’a could not been recognised as the president and thus she has been acting all along.
The letter has since said that Manong’a should be recognised as the legitimate president of the union with effect from the date of the resignation of Mhango.
According to the union’s calendar of events, the current term of the president runs until December 2022 when the union is expected to hold its regular elective meeting of congress.
The letter says that with this development, this entails that the forthcoming extra-ordinary meeting of congress will not elect a president.
Meanwhile, the board says the only position that is available for election is that of vice president.
“As indicated in the board’s earlier communication, people are invited to submit expressions of interest of the vice-president,” reads part of the letter.
The move however, has attracted mixed reactions from the music family.
“After last year’s congress, there was supposed to be a change in the constitution in good time because it was amended,” said one musician, who asked for anonymity.
Some musicians have even indicated that they would re-register Musicians Association of Malawi.
“Members were of the view that they would elect a president but what has happened now is like overtaking our will,” said another musician.
Recently, Manong’a expressed concern that some members were trying to fight her not to assume the position of the president despite the constitution stipulating that the vice-president automatically takes over following the resignation of the president.
“I am ready to serve Mum with all my heart and soul. I am ready to work with all the musicians but it worried me that some were trying hard for me not to take over the presidency,” Manong’a said.