…likely to face APM
..Mukhito wants SG post, Chisale to run as an MP
Main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Peter Mutharika is set to run again but he might have to square off with his former protégé Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is the party’s Vice President (South) and Leader of Opposition.
Nankhumwa served as Mutharika’s deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012.
Meanwhile, backroom staff for Mutharika, Peter Mukhito, and Norman Chisale have expressed interest to join frontline politics according to circulating social media posts.
The DPP is supposed to hold a convention this July, but indications are that the party might seek to delay it using the expansion of parliamentary constituencies from 193 to 228 as the reason to rework delegates to the convention.
The resolution to shift the elective indaba must be approved by the party’s National Governing Council (NGC) and extraordinary convention which could reject it and force former President Peter Mutharika to face an election.
According to an inside DPP poll, should Mutharika decide to run he will easily win the party convention and can also defeat President Lazarus Chakwera in national polls, but Nankhumwa could pose a challenge to Mutharika’s ambition as his extensive support is yet to be tested at a national level.
Nankhumwa’s team has ramped up the digital campaign by releasing images and posters. This week he has been joined by Paul Gadama another presidential aspirant who has no likely chance of winning and he is seen as positioning himself to be relevant in any future DPP administration.
Other aspirants- Bright Mswaka (Eastern region vice president), Dr Dalitso Kabambe, and Joseph Mwanamvenkha have opted for silence, neither endorsing Mutharika’s campaign nor campaign openly.
“President Mutharika will run. He is the DPP leader with a record that can be used to compare with the mediocre performance of MCP and Chakwera. The rest can wait for five years to take over from him. He only has one term to go,” said a Mutharika enthusiast.
Nankhumwa’s team believes he has what it takes to upstage Mutharika, saying the voting will be a secret ballot and he will emerge victorious and lead the DPP in the 2025 elections.
“His network is extensive in all party regions. We are the only ones we can challenge Mutharika,” said one of his campaigners who revealed that overtures are being made to other candidates to join him to oust other candidates.
Both Mutharika’s spokesperson and Nankhumwa himself did not respond to our questions.
Should Mutharika run and win the presidency he will be the only person to have run and won three elections in Malawi’s political history.
Meanwhile, former Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito who also served as Mutharikas Chief of Staff will be running for the post of Secretary General while his security head Norman Chisale is running for a parliamentary seat in Ntcheu.
Mukhito told us when asked, “Let us cross the bridge when we get to it. I cannot say anything now.