Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Vice President Sidik Mia disclosed that he has identified influential candidates to contest on his MCP ticket in the Shire Valley where he comes from.
Mia was speaking during a press conference he conducted on Monday afternoon in Blantyre where he was welcoming a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) shadow Member of Parliament for Nsanje North Constituency, Enock Chazuzu.
Chizuzu said had decided to dump the ruling DPP after receiving pressure from chiefs and his people to join forces with the Lower shire baron, Mia, if his dream of going to Parliament in 2019 is to be realized.
“They told me to join MCP if I am to win in 2019 and who am I to say no to the people’s wish,” said Chazuzu who was accompanied by his Constituency Chairperson, three other executive members of the constituency and the Area Development Committee Chairperson.
Taking his turn, Mia said was courting Chazuzu for a long time and was pleased that he has finally joined MCP.
“He is a quality candidate and so far a frontrunner in the constituency and I am glad that he has joined MCP,” said Mia adding that he has now “sealed” the shire valley with his joining MCP—meaning that there is now no vacancy in terms of aspirant(s)in any constituency in the two districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa.
In an interview, the members of the press asked him to explain on a number of issues facing the party in the southern region.
Put to him if he will contest in any constituency in the country as MP following the announcement by his wife Abida Mia that she will contest in Chikwawa Mkombezi, a Constituency he has been MP for a decade, Mia was unequivocal in his response saying he will not contest in any constituency in the country as he is and will be too busy criss-crossing the country to canvass support and garner votes for MCP Presidential candidate Dr Lazarus Chakwera.
According to Mia, his mission is to help push Dr. Chakwera to be Malawi president in 2019 and observed therefore that he would do the people of Chikwawa Mkombezi constituency “a great injustice” to be their member of parliament when he knows that he will not be fully dedicated to them.
“They need someone who will be committed to them 100% and Abida Mia who has been helping me run the constituency when I was MP for the area, is in my view, the right person for the job. Interestingly, she has been endorsed by Chiefs and many people in our constituency, so let her try her luck,” said Mia.
Quizzed on when primary elections will commence in the southern region, the vice president said the exercise will commence in 14 days’ time and he assured the media that all aspirants will undergo the exercise saying that his party elects its leaders across the board democratically.
“You know even our own president Dr Chakwera underwent primary elections in his constituency, so no one will be spared of this exercise—even if there is no challenger, primary elections will still be conducted,” said Mia.
Put to him to gauge the strength of the party in the southern region about a year now since he joined the party, Mia said the party is now visible, competitive and attractive not only in southern region but also in the northern region, not to mention central region.
Mia then disclosed that MCP will feature all the 193 parliamentary candidates in 2019 including ward councilors candidates as well.
He mentioned Mangochi central region where he said the party has about 6 shadow MPs who want to contest under the MCP ticket as a sign of the attractiveness of the party. Mia also cited the case of Blantyre where he said there are about three to more contestants in almost each of the constituency where they preparing to battle it out during the primary elections—a true indicator of the party’s strength, competitiveness and attractiveness.
Vice President Sidik Mia, an excellent orator and an experienced politician, whom many political commentators, have credited him of revamping MCP in the populous southern region thereby boosting the MCP’s chances of making it to state house in 2019, is widely seen as the defacto running mate to the party’s presidential candidate, Dr Lazarus Chakwera.