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Parties reflect, look ahead to 2023 conventions

Patricia Kaliati

Kandi Padambo

The year that is beginning Sunday is when political parties are expected to hold conventions, which many hope would spell an end to intra-party squabbles.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Maurice Munthali told Malawi News that the party is yet to set dates for the convention.

“We are not pressing any panic button, but should it happen this year you are going to be informed, and should it happen next year you are also going to be informed,” he said, while adding that MCP is transparent and democratic Party.

Commenting on party’s the performance in 2022 and expectations in 2023, Munthali said MCP has steered the country on the right political path.

“We have a President who is unifying this country, who looks at Malawi with one objective and one vision; that is of lifting the welfare of everyone.

“President Lazarus Chakwera who is looking at Malawi as one family, he has made sure that projects should be shared between all the district, regardless of their tribes, region,” he said.

He said Tonse is currently laying on foundation for the future of Malawians by looking at 2063 development goals because this is what they would like to achieve.

Munthali however argued that not everything can be achieved in the two years that Chakwera has been in power.

“Malawians need to be patient because the foundations are being laid down for a better Malawi,” he added.

Munthali lamented that Malawi has no strong opposition because the current one does not offer alternative solutions but is rather busy trying to pull the government down.

The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is also planning a convention.

Party spokesperson Shadreck Namalomba told Malawi News that 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 serve Malawians better,” Namalomba said.

He described 2022 as being an exciting year despite being outside government, an experience he said provided lessons to the party.

Namalomba has however expressed worry on arrests of its members and what he termed disrespect to former president Peter Mutharika.

“The party feels that Tonse administration is silencing the opposition, however, Malawians have realised that DPP is the only party to end their suffering,” he said.

The United Democratic Front (UDF), through its secretary general Kandi Padambo, said holding a convention is now not a matter of choice but compliance with the law.

“We will hold a convention or National Conference in compliance with our own constitution and the law,” Padambo said.

He however described 2022 as a year of mixed fortunes but generally a good one. He said the party continued to provide needed checks and balances through various committees and on the floor in Parliament.

“We won Parliamentary and Local Government Elections in Chikwawa and Balaka. We were able to hold elections in some regions in line with our constitution and filled long standing vacancies. We finalised and launched our five-year Strategic Plan. We continued to revamp our grassroots structures,” said Padambo.

He said that after their then leader Atupele Muluzi handed over power to incumbent Lilian Patel, the party complied with its constitution and held a National Executive Committee meeting within seven days from the date of receiving notification from Muluzi.

UTM secretary General Patricia Kaliati said the party will communicate on the dates when time for convention is ripe.

“For convention we will communicate when it’s ripe,” Kaliati said.

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