Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says it is set to hold its convention in April this year after raising about K70 million to finance the gathering expected to put in office new leadership.
MCP president Lazarus Chakwera made the announcement in Blantyre on Saturday night during a dinner and dance organised by Friends of MCP from the Southern Region to raise funds for the convention expected to choose a president who will lead the party in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
He said funds for the convention were raised from well-wishers of all races across the country who look at the main opposition party as their hope.
Said Chakwera: “No one’s contribution is insignificant. It’s never happen at this level before that already we have raised over K70 million. The convention is due to take place next month and God willing, Malawians will choose the leaders they want.”
According to MCP acting secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka, the party’s budget for the convention is K96 million, which means it faces a deficit of K26 million.
Over the past months, the country’s oldest political grouping has been embroiled in deep-rooted internal wrangles with some faction that has reportedly been scheming against Chakwera calling for the convention.
The disputes saw the party leadership dismissing its publicity secretary Jessie Kabwila and also suspending its first vice-president Richard Msowoya, secretary general Gustav Kaliwo and treasurer general Tony Kandiero.
But speaking on Saturday night, Chakwera said the party had a shared conviction to create the change in the country which, he confessed, will not be given to them on a silver platter.
He said: “Those in whose hands power has been placed for the past four years have been tested and have been found wanting. They have been weighed in the scales, and they have been exposed as empty. So, whatever it is they now claim they can offer us after broken promises, we don’t want it.”
Chakwera said MCP would scour the world for Malawians of good will, good character, and good ideas and bring them together to fix what has been destroyed.
Chairperson of the organising committee, businessperson Abida Mia, said besides organising the dinner and dance to raise funds for the convention, they also want to use the funds to buy vehicles, motorbikes and bicycles for all the regions.
“The fact that we are not in government but within a short period we have already raised over K70 million it means Malawians have hope in the party and want to see it in government come 2019,” said Mia whose husband, Sidik, is eyeing the position of the party’s vice president.
Several businesspersons and other veteran politicians, including Bazuka Mhango, Ziliro Chibambo, Humphreys Mvula and Moses Kunkuyu of Transformation Alliance attended the dinner and dance. n