Malawi: Ndipo Vows to Develop Blantyre City After Re-Election As Mayor

Wild James Ndipo of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who on Friday retained as Mayor of City of Blantyre while Joseph Nyson Makwinja also of the DPP was entrusted with the post of deputy mayor, said his re-election is enormous privilege as the first term was for the laying of a foundation and now it's time to continue implementing the promises they made to the residents to further develop the city.

Mayor Ndipo with his wife taking Oath of Office Lipikwe with the Mayor and CEO Dr. Chanza The Mayor, his deputy and fellow councillors pose for a picture

Ndipo beat two contestants, Councillors Gertrude Lucy Edgar Chirambo for Namalimwe Ward in Ndirande, who got just 5 of the 29 votes cast while independent councillor for Mzedi Ward Eric Mofolo, had 4 votes.

The race for the deputy mayor, that had four contestants, was tight as Makwinja of Bangwe Ward got 12 votes, Isaac Jomo Osman (Bangwe Mthandizi), also of the DPP, had 10 votes while UTM's candidates Baraba Funny Kanojerera of Nyambadwe Ward had 4 and his party counterpart Thokozani Phekani of Soche West Ward got 3.

In his acceptance speech, Ndipo, who represents Chigumula Ward, said: "Our mandate from the residents who voted us in is to develop the City of Blantyre and we need to continue working together to change the face of the city."

During the electoral process which was presided over by the City Council's Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Alfred Chanza, the contestants were allowed to campaign for themselves and all three were promising to uplift the face of the city and if all ideas were to be pooled together and adopted, Blantyre City residents can rest be assured of good developments.

Chirambo, who was aspiring to become the first female mayor for the city after two other attempts, had promised to fight against massive pollution of the city's rivers and streams, to ease traffic congestion by creating many car park lots, improve on health service delivery as well as engaging the corporate world to help transform the face of the city.

She also touched on planting of 1 million trees to reafforest Ndirande and Soche hills as well as cleaning the waterways along Mudi River, which is heavily polluted.

Chirambo also said she has already identified some development partners who will facilitate the establishment of an academy to improve education standards of the youths.

Accountant by profession, Mofolo had promised to improve waste management, to give maximum attention to the maintenance of drainage system, to provide recreation parks for the youth and reintroduce the Mayors football trophy to win the youths from drug and alcohol abuse.

He had also touched on increasing police visibility around all the business hubs and hygiene facilities to be made available and to enforce the environment committee to identify and punish polluters of the city's rivers and streams.

Chirambo said since she shall make sure that her promises are also incorporated as they were made in her capacity as councilor and will try to have them initiated for the good of the residents of the city.

Councilor Gerald Lipikwe for Limbe Central, who also aspired for the seat of deputy mayor but withdrew to pave way for the fellow DPP members, Osman and Makwinja to increase the party's chances of winning, said he already hit the ground running as he has already initiated some development projects in his ward.

After presiding over the handing over of a renovated library this month which he facilitated for Kanjedza Primary School, Lipikwe announced that he had sourced over 500 literary and educational text books which he will donate to Chigumula-based Jacaranda Foundation's library programme.

"We need to work together as City Council in order to pool all our ideas together for the common good of city," Lipikwe told Nyasa Times.

Members of Parliament for Blantyre City also voted and these were Ismail Rizzq Mkumba, Sameer Suleman, Noel Lipipa, Orphan Shaba, Steven Mikaya and Gertrude Nankhumwa. John Bande and Deputy Minister of Defence Chipiliro Mpinganjira were not available.

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