It was an electric atmosphere as big names tumbled in the ruling People's Party's first convention held in Blantyre, Derek Mapondera and Raphael Tenthani report
BLANTYRE--Former vice president in the Bingu wa Mutharika administration Cassim Chilumpha was elected second vice president at the first convention of the People's Party (PP) as Joyce Banda and Khumbo Kachali went unopposed as president and first vice president of the 2010 founded party.
Lower Shire upcoming giant Sidik Mia, a former key figure of the DPP who dumped the party after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April, was also elected second vice president of the party, polling 1794.
According to the constitution of the party, Khumbo will be responsible for operations, Chilumpha will take care of political affairs while Mia will oversee administration.
The conference, which drew hundreds of party officials, was seen as the promotion of democratic principles although Banda's contender Caesar Fatchi withdrew his candidacy, dampening the atmosphere. Some saw his withdrawal as tantamount to throwing democracy into the dustbin.
Chilumpha, who is the Energy Minister, bagged 1253 votes, beating his fellow Nkhotakota politician Clement Stambuli who got 473. Uladi Mussa, the only political heavyweight from Salima, received 277 votes, while Chris Chaima Banda, who once wanted to unseat John Tembo of MCP, had 35 votes while unknown William Kadzombe Nkhoma got one.
Interim treasurer Brown Mpinganjira, who has been a key figure in the PP playing underground politics, fell to Mia, getting a paltry 276.
Secretary General Henry Chibwana, a former principal of the Polytechnic, easily retained his position after beating interim legal advisor Paul Maulidi. Frank Mwenefumbo, also formerly of DPP, won the position of 2nd deputy secretary general beating Masauko White.
First deputy secretary general is a Zulu and Ireen Chikuni assumed the position of third secretary general unopposed. First treasurer general is Halima Daudi and second deputy treasurer general is Yusuf Matumula.
The PP is the only party in recent years to hold a party conference and formally elect its officials.
Opening the convention, Banda dared other parties to follow PP example to hold conventions.
"The power should be in the people," she said.
Note that the numbers are subject to change but won’t affect the final outcome. Chaduwa Dhumakude contributed to this report. ©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.