Behaving presidential and showing that the Malawi politics has a decent and civilized side, President Joyce Banda has congratulated Peter Mutharika on his election as DPP’s president and her opponent in the presidential elections in 2014.
Sounding calm and composed, President Banda also congratulated the former ruling party for holding a peaceful convention against its known character and tradition as a grouping whose methods for political mobilization and acceptance generation have hitherto been brutal and beastly.
“I wish to start by congratulating the DPP for holding a peaceful convention,” said Banda, a remark that may have taken the former ruling party by surprise because many of its supporters have been claiming without proof in the aftermath of the convention that President Banda was bitter that her alleged ‘preferred’ candidate for the DPP presidency, Henry Chimunthu Banda, had lost.
“It is pleasing to note that the convention ended without the supporters of the party hacking each other,” continued President Banda in her congratulations to the party that dismissed her on account that she did not support the machinations of former President late Bingu wa Mutharika to bully everyone in the party to support his young brother to succeed him.
“Let me also congratulate Professor Peter Mutharika for being elected as the DPP president and my opponent in next year’s presidential elections,” said Banda to the ululation of the mammoth crowd that attended her development rally at Lumbira Primary School ground in the high density township of Chilomoni in Blantyre on Saturday.
“This is good because now we know who will be the competitors in 2014. In the next few days we will also know whom the MCP will bring to the contest. This provides us with the opportunity to be able to devise our strategies as to how we can go about marketing our product against the products that other parties have provided,” she told her cheering supporters.
President Banda gave a hint about the kind of product she is by outlining some of the things she has done to affect positively the lives of other people way before she rose to the high office and long before she joined politics.
From being a social activist, President Banda has to her credit the formation of the National Association for Business Women, a lending instrument for women involved in small scale enterprises; the Joyce Banda Foundation, that graduated many young men and woman participating at various levels of the country’s social economic development; the Young Women Leaders Network, a platform through which many young women leaders shaped they leadership credentials, among many other organizations.
“But if you are not able even to run one ministry of government, how can you claim that you have what it takes to run the country?” questioned President Banda in a veiled reference to the widely held view that the just elected DPP leader failed as Minister of Justice and of Education, putting into question his potential as a presidential material.
The President also acknowledged her inclusion among the most influential personalities in the world by the TIME magazine, saying the honour is more for the country than herself.
Other speakers at the public rally included Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana, Home Affairs Minister Uladi Mussa, People’s Party NEC member Steve Mijiga, Transport Minister Muhammad Sidik Mia and Labour Minister Eunice Makangala.
Scores of UDF and DPP members were welcomed into PP after their defection. They included former Chilomoni legislator Bertha Masiku and former Blantyre City Mayor Luke Jumbe.
Earlier, President Banda handed over artisan equipment worth thousands of kwacha to various youth groups plying various small scale enterprises in Chilomoni.