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MCP convention set for April 4-8

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) National Executive Committee (Nec) on Sunday agreed that the party should hold its much-anticipated elective convention in the first week of April this year.

Yesterday, the party was still mum on the Nec meeting resolutions but our sources said the convention is expected to be held from April 4 to 8.

The last time the party held a convention was in 2013, when the incumbent president Lazarus Chakwera was elected.

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The source said all Nec positions will be up for grabs and the party will choose its torchbearer in the 2019 presidential election.

“The meeting agreed that the April elective convention should be conducted in the Northern Region city of Mzuzu in line with the convention venue rotational system that the party follows,” the source said.

The party already filled positions in all regions and district committees.

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Some people within the party have started expressing their interest in Nec positions and one of them, Sidik Mia, said he would contest for the position of the party’s first deputy president.

Commenting on the planned convention, political analyst Ernest Thindwa said all political parties holding conventions should adhere to their constitutions.

“Political parties have constitutions. These clearly state when a convention is supposed to be held. It is, therefore important that the parties have to adhere to their constitutions to avoid creating problems due to failure to respect their constitutions in as far as the holding of conventions is concerned,” Thindwa said.

Among other things, the Sunday meeting resolved to fire party’s secretary general Gustave Kaliwo and former publicity secretary Jessie Kabwila for what the members feel is “bringing confusion in the party”.

Inside sources said the meeting also resolved to suspend party First deputy president Richard Msowoya for being party to “trouble-making group” in the party.

The nine-hour meeting was meant to sort out the disagreements between Kaliwo, Msowoya, Kabwila and the party leadership.

Commenting on the development, Thindwa said in any disciplinary process, rules of natural justice have to be followed.

“Any organisation has a right to discipline its members. MCP has that right. Perhaps the questions that have to be answered are: Are the disciplinary charges valid? Were the people given a chance to be heard?” Thindwa said.

Msowoya has downplayed Nec’s decision to suspend him in the party.

After opening the 5th meeting of the executive committee of the African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (Afropac), Msowoya, who is also Speaker of the National Assembly, told journalists that being suspended does not mean he has been dismissed from the party.

“I am not responding to anything concerning my suspension. I am not here to comment on party issues. Being suspended does not mean that I am fired,” Msowoya said.

Ezekiel Ching’oma, who will become publicity secretary, according to sources, yesterday maintained that the party will announce resolutions of the meeting later.

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