Peter Mutharika, brother to Bingu Mutharika emerges as winner as presidential candidate at the Democratic Progressive convention on Thursday.
Young Mutharika, 73, won with a wide gap against Nkhotakota North MP, Henry Chimunthu-Banda, who announced his interest in the presidential race late March.
Chimunthu, 50, is believed to bring in new blood in the leadership of the the DPP
“It is obvious, our only way to get back into government is to rebrand the party. The party needs to present a new and confident image to the electorate. And I am that new face,” Chimunthu Banda told one of the Malawian dailies.
It was reported that Chimunthu-Banda had already began to send congratulatory messages to Peter Mutharika.
Blantyre: Presidential aspirant Chimunthu Banda has already began to convey congratulatory messages to interim president, Peter Mutharika following a wide gap in votes as voting continues at party convention.
Banda who hails from Nkhotakota was hurled a lot of insults for declaring intention to contest against in the presidential. Competition was stiff at the convention.
Will Peter really carry the true light for the DPP? If Chimunthu won, would have the party carried the dream of former statesman Professor Mutharika?
The people are still deciding who will be the torch bearer.
There was chaos on Tuesday when party supporters that gathered at bail hearing at the High court in Lilongwe blocked roads with burning tyres and stones.
The supporters gathered to show support to acting DPP president Peter Mutharika. Mutharika, who was arrested on Monday along with 6 others, on allegations of trying to take over power after the death of his brother Bingu.
Riot police fired tear gas to disburse the grouds at lunch time for close to two hours. Business at the mini market was came to a halt with most of the shops closing for safety.
Artists in the country may breath a sigh of relief as government responds on the delay of the finalisation process of the draft Cultural Policy.
The policy, which was drafted a few years back, has not yet been approved nor discussed by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC)
Music and arts groups in the country have bemoaned the delay of the policy saying that failure to finalise it shows the lack of interest in the arts by government.
However, spokesperson in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Chrissy Chiumia told a local daily that though there is a delay, the ministry is making considerable progress.
Chiumia said part of the delay was because the ministry had decided to revise the draft policy to reflect emerging issues from the two conventions Malawi had recently ratified; the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Convention for the Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The policy was also being revised and improved to reflect current changes in the local arts industry.
She further assured artists that significant progress was being made and called upon artists to be patient as she could not specify a date for completion of the process.
Malawi president Joyce Mtila Banda has denied she authored a fake resignation letter that has been circulating on social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. She disclosed this at a press briefing held at Sanjika Palace in Blantrye after she returned from a meeting in Equatorial Guinea.
Banda has offered a 2million Kwacha reward to any one with information that will lead to the arrest of the alleged forger.
The letter, which came out at the height the Civil servants strike, cites health among others, as reasons for her ‘resignation’.
Banda asked: “Why would I resign? I am not sick. I am not mad.”
She further said she sees Malawi having a bumper harvest this year and the economy improving and will be around to witness both.
At the briefing president Banda also spoke against the use of school pupils in just ended industrial strike.
She said, “Children should be taught love not songs that castigate against some else.”
Meanwhile police have confirmed that they are investigating two men who seem to have been linked to rumors of mobilizing the kids to march against JB.
Malawi: The ongoing Civil Service strike went up another notch on Wednesday as Aviation and Meteorological departments at the Kamuzu International Airport also joined the strike. Many flights to and Malawi have been cancelled. The two departments followed the footsteps of teachers who joined the stay away on Tuesday.
The industrial action is calling on the Malawi government to hike salaries by 67% in due to the high cost of living that has come following the devaluation and floatation of the Kwacha. The action was spearheaded by the Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU). On Wednesday the striking employees marched to Capitol Hill and deliver a petition to the Chief of Staff, Bright Msaka. It was also reported on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that strikers had closed in cabinet ministers who were discussing strategies on how to address the current strike. Important sectors like health and education have been greatly affected.
On Wednesday riot police were deployed along the roads at Kamuzu Central Hospital round about all the way to Capitol Hill in City centre. The petition was successfully delivered. Commenting on the petition government spokesperson, Moses Kunkuyu, said on Joy Radio that the petition was not necessary as the issues on it were also on the agenda of negotiations currently being underway with representatives from CSTU. He added that an offer was to be presented to the Union’s negotiating team.
Government issues statement
On Tuesday government issued a statement stating that they were considering a minimal pay rise that was ‘in line with current economic position’. No actual percentage has been mentioned, but Finance Miniser, Ken Lipenga had said it would be difficult to hike the salaries due to the country’s frail economy.
Pupils take to the streets
The situation worsened on Thursday as police used tear gas dispersed pupils in Lilongwe and Blantyre as they also stormed the streets disgruntled by the lack of lessons in the schools. So far a Puma Convenience shop in Blantyre has been looted during these incidents. A few pupils are reported to have been arrested.
President Joyce Banda left on Thusrday morning for Equatorial Guinea where she is expected to attend Africa- South America (Ascof) Summit. The trip has been funded by the host according to State House statement.