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JB Touts Attainment at PP Convention

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Banda mentioned of constant power supply and uplifting women in social-economic development. Banda mentioned of constant power supply and uplifting women in social-economic development. - Pic by Charity Chimungu Phiri

The national elective conference of the former ruling People’s Party (PP) got under underway in Blantyre this morning with former president Joyce Banda touting the attainments of her party’s two-year rule.

Mrs. Banda, initially vice president, led Malawi between 2012 and 2014 following the sudden of President Bingu wa Mutharika. The constitution required that she assume office upon death of her boss.

Opening the convention, she said during her era she introduced a housing programme and farm input loan programme for low income households.

She further mentioned of constant power supply and uplifting women in social-economic development.

Mrs Banda claimed these development faded away after she lost the 2014 elections, but said they will resume if she is voted back in power in 2019.

Mrs Banda fled the country in 2014 after losing to incumbent Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

PP Publicity Secretary Noah Chimpeni has told Zodiak 1000 delegates are attending the meeting.

“The total budget for the convention is about K80 to K100 million,” he said.

He said some well-wishers from abroad and within the country and Mrs Banda are funding the indaba.

Earlier, delegates from the northern region threatened to boycott the vote because they were reportedly not given food.

According to Chimpeni, all positions will be contested, including that of president, with one man - Leonard Mphiza - challenging Mrs Banda.

Chimpeni downplayed assertions that Mphiza has just being handpicked as a face-saver.

“He is a bonafide member of the party…he has been around for some time; he even held a NEC position and was present at the last meeting that is where he declared his interest to contest on the position of party president,” he said.

A political analyst Dr Mustafa Hussein has commended the party for allowing Mphiza to challenge Mrs Banda, saying it is a sign they are practicing good intra-party democracy.

“In the absence of any information or documentation to suggest that this is a make-up, I feel it is a genuine demonstration that they want to bring in some intra-party democracy party and spirit of competition even on the position of president otherwise the party could have chosen to endorse the president who is there,” he said.

At their recent conventions, all other major political parties, including the governing DPP, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) endorsed their incumbent leaders without anyone challenging them.

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