|January 28, 2004
Malewezi to stand as independent presidential candidate?
Embattled Vice President Justin Malewezi is still focussed at due to new reports in which he intends to dump the People's Progressive Movement (PPM) and stand as an independent Presidential Candidate. The new controversy comes after PPM has short listed Aleke Banda as its candidate at the Presidential Primary elections, which Mgwirizano Coalition will hold on February 9 this year. According to the Chairman of the Christian Churches Committee on Electoral Process (CCCEP), Anglican Bishop James Tengatenga, Malewezi was not eligible to stand as a Presidential candidate for the Mgwirizano Coalition because he was not elected by his party to be President or Presidential Candidate.
This criterion certainly bars Malewezi contesting as a Presidential Candidate for the Alliance because at the recent PPM, convention the party voted Aleke Banda as the party's President and Presidential Candidate. PPM is therefore expected to field Aleke Banda as its candidate, when members of the Mgwirizano Coalition choose its joint candidate within two weeks. PPM's recent convention elected Aleke as its President and Presidential Candidate, and his preferred running mate is the party's director of research and marketing Mark Katsonga because the First Vice President Justin Malewezi is barred by the Constitution from running for the third term as a running mate. It is reportedly said it is this criterion of only allowing democratically-elected party presidents to vie for the coalition's top leadership, which has infuriated Malewezi to resort of standing as an independent Presidential Candidate. (Malawi Standard, Blantyre)