On Friday, January 12, 2019 the opposition Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) Chancellor College (CHANCO) wing – main campus of the University of Malawi, had elections to elect new office bearers. Third year student pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Cultural Studies, was elected President. We caught up with the rising political star to understand plans he has for the wing, the party and also his future plans in politics. Here is the full interview.
Wonderful Mkhutche (WM): Congratulations on your win Emmanuel
Emmanuel Mwanyongo (EM): Thank you so much. Zikomo Kwambiri. It is a pleasure to be given a leadership opportunity. I hope my courage will inspire other young people to respond to the call for leadership.
WM: What made you decide to give it a go?
EM I am a staunch believer of the notion that education and school are two different things. School gives you a certificate while education empowers you to adapt to different situations that life brings. Education gives you power to change. I always tell myself that I will be President of Malawi someday. So the best way to learn political leadership is through the channel I have taken.
WM: How challenging was the campaign period?
EM: It was very challenging and at the same time exciting. It was a pleasure putting to practice all theories we read in political books and adopting my own. I managed to assemble a small team of young and capable comrades. Without them, I would not have attained this achievement. I owe everything to them.
WM: What are your immediate plans for CHANCO MCP wing?
EM: My most immediate goal as stipulated in my manifesto is to make CHANCO MCP wing a professionally run organization that will be a hub of leadership training for young people as well as knowledge generating platform for MCP. I am happy that the executive team of the wing has young, ambitious and capable people so we will deliver our promise. I am deeply humbled and honored by all the congratulatory messages I have been receiving since ascending to the presidency on Friday. MCP president, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, and his deputy, Richard Msowoya, wrote to congratulate and encourage me. I have also received messages from several party officials. I look forward to having an audience with them. As a wing, we have not fully been supported in the past but we are lobbying for a change to that now.
WM: MCP is in an internal leadership crisis. What should President Lazarus Chakwera do to end it?
EM: Yes, I understand and appreciate that at the moment, not everything is rosy in MCP. But I am very optimistic that our president, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, will bring everybody together and that we will go to the convention as a united bloc and everything will be water under the bridge.
WM: Next year, Malawi will be going to its sixth general election. What are chances that MCP will win?
EM: I am more than optimistic that MCP will win the tripartite elections in 2019. Dr. Chakwera will make it as president, MCP will get more MPs and Councilors than any other party too. I believe we have more than proved to be an alternative government while we have served from the opposition terraces. The only hope for Malawi right now is Dr. Chakwera, However, we cannot relax. We still have work to do and as young people, we will do it with passion and determination.
WM: Lastly, what are your long term future political plans?
EM: My biggest goals in life is to become the president of Malawi someday. Whenever I see Barack Obama, I believe I can do it too. Yes, we can! But in short term, I would love to serve as a diplomat or Member of Parliament in 2024.
WM: Thank you Emmanuel. We wish you all the best in your political endeavors.
EM: Thank you.