Blantyre, Malawi - Malawi's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will hold its first ever national convention, called 'Indaba' in local parlance, from 17-19 April, according to the party's Publicity Secretary, Nicholas Dausi.
Dausi, the convention's main organising committee chairperson, disclosed that the convention will be held at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.
'All is set for the convention,” he said, adding “All positions are up for grabs.”
At least 65 million Malawi kwacha (about US$ 170,000) has been budgeted for the convention, he disclosed.
“We will soon open an account for the convention as a fund-raising activity. The convention's sub-committee on Finance and Fund-raising, under the supervision on of the party Treasurer, Gen. George Chaponda, will open an account where well-wishers from across the country will be contributing something for the convention,” said Dausi.
The DPP publicist said the party had selected the Bingu International Conference Centre in the capital, Lilongwe, as the venue for the indaba as an honour to the party's fallen president, Bingu wa Mutharika.
Dausi said the convention, the first since the late Mutharika founded the party in 2005 after ditching the United Democratic Front – on whose ticket he contested and won the 2004 elections, will be “accommodative to enhance unity in the party”.
Acting president Peter Mutharika, who took over the reigns of power following his brother’s sudden death from cardiac arrest on 5 April, 2012, may face challenge from Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda who is considering a possible run for the DPP presidency at the convention.
The elder Mutharika’s death, who died aged 78 when his popularity was waning due to worsening economic and political situation, prematurely banished the DPP to opposition benches because then Vice-President Joyce Banda, who was constitutionally in line of succession, was expelled from the party when she resisted the imposition of the younger Mutharika, now 73, as his brother's successor.
Banda had formed her own People’s Party which became the de facto ruling party on her ascension to power on 7 April, two days after Mutharika’s death.