The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has said those vying for positions in the party are free to start campaigning.
MCP publicity secretary Reverend Maurice Munthali also disclosed Monday that the party’s elective convention is expected to take place next year.
“People are free to contest for any position,” he said
He, however, said the exact dates of the convention will be announced later.
Recently, party officials have been seen conducting elections in different parts of the country with the aim of filling leadership gaps.
On his part, main opposition Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Shadric Namalomba said they are planning to hold a convention this year as the party has finally put its house in order.
“We are moving forward to rebuild the party. We are introducing a new [party] constitution. Our new constitution is expected to save Malawians better,” Namalomba said.
The party has, as one way of filling gaps, also appointed two members— Mganda Chiume as deputy secretary general and Thomson Kamangira as deputy director for international affairs.
Party administrative secretary Francis Mphepo indicates, in a letter dated January 19 2023, that the appointments are with immediate effect.
Two days ago, UTM announced a number of appointments effective January 20 2023.
For instance, Commissioner Augustine Mtendere has been appointed as the party’s acting administrative secretary, Loveness Gondwe is the national deputy director of elections, Khwesi Msusa is the national director of operations, with Sam Chirwa as his deputy.
Others are Penjani Kalua, who has been appointed as national director of youth, among many appointees.
Meanwhile, political and governance commentator Ernest Thindwa has said the developments were expected as parties start to plan for 2025 general elections.
He said the filling of positions should, in some way, be seen as part of the planning process for elective conventions.
“The challenge we have in most parties is that, as parties move towards an elective convention, the elite tend to manipulate party structures through non-democratic processes to influence outcomes of the elective convention,” Thindwa said.
He said this has the potential to muffle those with other ideas.
“[For example], eligibility to attend an elective party convention is depended on occupying a particular position in a party structure. Credibility of such a convention is enhanced when legitimate members who occupy particular positions through democratic processes attend and participate in the choice of party leaders,” Thindwa said.