8 February 2019

Malawi: Chilumpha Chooses Female Running Mate - Lukewarm Mood At Nomination of Papers

Former vice president Cassim Chilumpha Thursday presented nomination papers to pollster Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) ahead of the May 21 tripartite elections on behalf of the Tikonze People's Movement with a call to Malawians to collectively work towards uplifting the country.

Chilumpha arrived at COMESA Hall in the capital Blantyre with a scanty following, the worst since the presentation of the papers began on Monday.

His Tikonze People's Movement (TPM) entered an alliance with Saulos Chilima's UTM Party but he and Joyce Banda's People's Party (PP) left the alliance citing disagreements over a signed memorandum of understanding.

Mark Katsonga and George Nnesa, People's Progressive Movement (PPM) and MAFUNDE presidents respectively pulled out of the alliance in support of Chilima.

In his brief speech, Chilumpha said it was imperative for Malawians to work diligently in all spheres in order to achive prosperity.

"Everyone must work hard. We need collective effort to develop this country," said Chilumpha.

According to Chilumpha, the rural masses need to be incorporated in the government agenda of development.

Chilumpha, a lawyer by profession and Senior Coubsel, said he picked his running-mate, Zione Akuziona Matumba, a rural and community development specialist because she would help in achieving the movement's dream.

"She is a woman who understands the common person because of her robust experience," he said, adding: "She is passionate about the welfare of Malawians especially in rural areas."

According to Chilumpha, Matumba has was born at Ulongwe Hospital in Balaka and has a diploma in community and rural development. She also holds certificates certificates in marketing and public relations.

In 2014 she contested for a parliamentary seat in Mangochi Central Constituency but did not make it.

Sources said Chilumpha settled for Matumba after his choice of Jimmy Koreira Mpatsa could not work as he turned down the offer.

In her address during the ceremony, MEC chairperson Jane Ansah reiterated her appeal to candidates to engage in issue-based campaign and motivate voters, especially the first-time voters born after the year 2000, to vote.

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