This is an exciting year in Malawi; it is campaign year. According to media reports and discussion in the public domain, it is quite uncertain who will move into Kamuzu Palace in May 2014. But we will know that when we get there. For now we should embrace our self for a fierce and aggressive political race to the polls. This build up to the 2014 tripartite elections is among other issues this blog will follow closely. Today I will just highlight on those making headlines in the now.
Among those making noise are Dr. Joyce Mtila Banda (62), the current president of Malawi, who is running on People’s Party (PP) ticket. President Banda, who founded of PP, will want to ensure she gets a full term to prove to her critics she can make a difference. Banda has faced heavy criticism under what she calls “emergency leadership” due to her devaluation and flotation of the Malawi currency, which has affected the country’s economy in the last few months.
Second is Atupele Austin Muluzi (34), son to former president Bakili Muluzi. He champions the Agenda for Change on the United Democratic Front (UDF). He ditched the PP government after some bigwigs in PP hurled insulting comments about his political career. Young Muluzi seems to win the support of young and middle class voters. However, others are of the view that his father is behind his political motivation.
Democratic Progessive (DPP) and Malawi Congress (MCP) parties are yet to choose their presidential candidates at their forth coming conventions.
But until such a time, Arthur Peter Mutharika (72), has been wooing support for candidacy in DPP. Mutharika has just returned from his US trip which was rumored to be an invitation from White House incumbent Barak Obama. The younger Mutharika has a great challenge to convince the local masses that he is pro Malawian if he wants to be successful in the polls.
From MCP, John Z. U. Tembo (80), recently shocked the nation when he announced that he will contest for MCP candidacy at the convention. People have questioned his seriousness as he earlier said he was considering to step down from active politics to allow new blood to take over. There is a great outcry asking Tembo to step down and pave way for new leadership.
There are many more hopefuls eyeing the Malawi presidency and I hope to share their views in my subsequent posts. I hope you will enjoy as we see how these events unfold for the Warm Heart of Africa.