LILONGWE--They vote, they decide, no confirmation by the National Executive Committte (NEC) is required since the people's decision is final, that's the message delegates sent to the ruling People's Party's politburo on Wednesday.
That firm position was prompted by the following remark made by Deputy Secretary General and Elections Leader Harry Mkandawire:
“Let me say the names will be confirmed by the National Executive Committee.”
Mkandawire, who spoke after delegates had voted for the Central Region Regional Committee, said the idea was to ensure positions were "spread" but his remark triggered off howls of outrage.
Sensing that people were in no mood for what they considered to be shenanigans, Mkandawire went ahead to tell delegates at Natural Resources College in Lilongwe that Edith Ntunga, formerly Director of Elections, had beaten Catherine Banda, founding Director of Women for the post.
Catherine Banda is an ally of Pres Joyce Banda and Vice Pres Khumbo Kachali. What worried delegates was that before voting took place, Ntunga’s form couldn't be located.
According to the grapevine, senior PP officials had made a call before voting took place, telling Ntunga to compete for the number two position instead.
But in the end it was people who prevailed.
John Chikalimba, who was master of ceremonies, to huge applause, announced that indeed Ntunga had been elected Director of Women and Mkandawire said the results were final as the people had spoken.
Ntunga won with 90 votes while Banda, who apologised for her shortcomings while in office, became first deputy director with 56 votes.
Other winners: Kizito Ngwembe, founding Provincial Chairperson for the party, won without any opposition. The position of First Deputy Chairperson for the Province was retained by John Chagunda with 180 votes and his number two will be former ruling Democratic Progressive Party deputy Governor David Kambalame who got 60 votes as second vice and former United Democratic Front regional governor Samson Mazengera is third deputy Chairperson with just 12 votes.
Frazer Chulu, another founding member, became the Provincial Secretary with 114 votes. Mustafa Somanje Fidesi with 104 votes will be Chulu's deputy. The second deputy is Nichodemus Pulikani who won with 40 votes.
A full list of winners and losers will be made available in due course.
As reported Tuesday, the ruling People's Party is preparing for its convention next month. The date for the convention is yet to be announced.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.