Wealthy tycoon with a cattle ranch and politician Mohammed Sidik Mia has declared his intentions to contest as vice president for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) at the party convention expected to be held in March.
Mia, regarded as political heavyweight of the twin Lower Shire Valley districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje, made his position on Tuesday in Blantyre when he hosted about 50 MCP shadow members of Parliament (MPs) from the Southern and Eastern region, ending months of persistent flirtation with the idea of running for the MCP vice president office.
"From today I want everyone to know that during the forthcoming party convention, I will contest for no other position, but the vice-presidency of the Malawi Congress Party. That is it, I stand by it and I am very ready," Mia said amidst cheers from the shadow MPs.
"I am sure I will carry the day," said Mia.
MCP is the largest opposition party in Malawi and its president Lazarus Chakwera is the leader of the opposition in the August House. Without doubt the party expects that after next year's elections it will be in power of a multiparty government after it has been out of power since it ruled Malawi during the one-party State between 1964 and May 1994.
Mia, a former Cabinet minister, said he want to help propel MCP president Chakwera to power "and we are going to make MCP great again."
He said MCP will be "bigger and better and stronger."
Meanwhile, in Lilongwe, MCP lawmakers endorsed Mia for the position of vice -president during a meeting called to review recently exposed wrangles among some of the party's leaders.
A communiqué issued at the end o the meeting endorsed the open door policy allowing all who are interested to join MCO to contest for any position at the convention
One of the MPs present at the meeting , Richard Chimwendo Banda said the MPs are "happy" that Mia has come out and declared interest to stand as party Vice President.
Chimwendo said the MPs t will support his candidature.
Mia was born 1965 and was first elected an MP for Chikwawa Nkombezi in May 2004 on the United Democratic Front (UDF) banner, then president Bingu wa Mutharika appointed him deputy minister of Agriculture.
He served as deputy minister of Mines, Natural Resources and Environment as well as that of Transport and Public Works.
In May 2009 elections Mia was re-elected MP on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket, a party Bingu formed after ditching UDF in 2005.
Mutharika promoted him to full Ministerial position and when Bingu died Mia joined People's Party of Joyce Banda when he was also trusted with post of Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure.
He dumped Banda's People's Party before the 2014 elections and was out of frontline politics.
In June 2017 Mia announced his political comeback and joined MCP in July 2017. He has since been instrumental to build MCP support in southern and eastern region which was considered no go political areas for the party in the past.