The DPP convention slated for December is likely to bring up surprises on the political scene with new faces and names coming to the fore to claim positions in the party.
Notable names include human rights activist and fierce DPP critic Ben Chiza Mkandawire, former presidential legal counsel Allan Ntata and musician Limbani Kalirani, popularly known as Tay Grin.
In an interview on Thursday, Mkandawire admitted having interest to contest for the partyâ€™s vice-presidency on condition that DPP convinces him that the convention will be transparent and democratic.
He said he has not yet joined the party, but will give his full commitment once he is convinced that the party is reformed.
Said Mkandawire: â€œIt has been a hectic process in finding a party. Young people are constantly used as cadets or young democrats for pushing violent agendas. I thought about affiliating myself to a party that has lost direction but pushing for reforms that are meant to be translated into re-construction policies.
â€œI looked at the UDF and realised there were still things deeply embedded that do not reflect the views of Malawians. DPP is on a reformatory path in terms of their structures and policies. I am, however, yet to make a 100 percent commitmentâ€.
He said he has been speaking to different leaders at various levels in the party to check how different the party is now before he can fully commit.
Mkandawire also said he held a caucus with various young people in the past two weeks to discuss their role in politics which he noted should not end at commentaries or discussions in the social media but participating in order to bring about change.
Asked how he would work with a party whose government arrested him for being critical to its administration, he said: â€œThat is why I want to make sure that it is a reformed party. There are some people who are bitter with the party because of its history. That is why it needs to restore confidence in the people because it is possible to re-build any system.
â€œIt is not about being blue, yellow or orange. It is bout motivating the youth to take part in the political decisions of our country.â€
Mkandawire was arrested in January last year on allegations that he was inciting vendors to demonstrate. This was after the then Information and Civic Education Minister Patricia Kaliati had said women should stop buying from vendors after some of them stripped women naked.
Kalirani said he would announce his decision at an appropriate time as he was not ready to speak.
At the time we went to press, Ntata had not yet responded to our questionnaire.
A list seen by Nation on Sunday includes names of other youthful contenders such as Bannet Meke, Laurine Bottoman Phiri, Precious Ernest Sabola, Pato Phoya, Martin Mkasala, Beat Chikonde, Franklyn Mbewe, Mac Hellings Kayala, Bright Kajawo and Peter Nyangu who are vying for unspecified positions. We could not speak to them.