BLANTYRE—Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday closed the elective conference of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Blantyre at the Comesa Hall where he went unopposed of the position of the party’s national president.
The convention, described as successful and democratic by the Mutharika, started on Monday at a high note when former minister of agriculture George Chaponda withdrew from the Vice president race at an eleventh hour after noting that the delegates were in full support of the other candidates.
Minister of Local Government Kondwani Naknhumwa defeated political old timers Henry Mussa and Joseph Mwanavekha to become vice president for the southern region, the ruling party’s stronghold.
Nankhumwa got 774 votes against Joseph Mwanamvekha’s 407 while Henry Mussa, who has been in cabinet for the last 25 years, got 401 votes.
Sacked agriculture minister George Chaponda, withdrew from the race at the last minute on “personal grounds”. Chaponda is still facing graft charges from the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the country’s anti-graft body.
The central region went to Uladi Mussa who got 964 votes while his closest challenger Dean Josiah got 298 votes.
Mussa has an uphill battle to push the DPP’s agenda in a region long regarded as the Malawi Congress Party’s stronghold.
Goodall Gondwe has maintained his position as vice president for the north without being challenged.
Malawi goes to the polls in May next year.