Malawi’s ruling People’s Party (PP) is set to spend K42 million (about $168 000) on its convention which is slated to take place at an undisclosed venue on August 27.

Speaking at a press conference in Lilongwe, chairperson of the party’s convention publicity subcommittee, Grace Maseko, said the funds have come from well wishers and PP members.

“The party will spend K42 million for the convention. All these funds are coming from well-wishers and members of the People’s Party,” said Maseko.

She said the party’s treasurer general Brown Mpinganjira will give names of the actual sponsors of the convention when he presents his report at the national conference.

“One of the items for the convention is presentation of the treasurer general’s report and those details could be disclosed at that time. Currently, we are not disclosing any names of these well wishers.

“In fact, some well-wishers have indicated that they don’t want their names to be published. We are also still receiving funds from other well-wishers and party members,” said Maseko who was flanked by the party’s secretary general Henry Chibwana, legal adviser Paul Maulidi and publicity secretary Steven Mwenye at the briefing.

Maulidi said no government funds have been drawn into the party’s budget for the convention.

“As far as PP is concerned, there is no question of using public funds for the convention. The funds are coming from well-wishers outside the public purse,” said Maulidi.

All positions up for grabs

He said all executive positions in the party, including the presidency will be contested at the convention, adding that those interested to contest for the party’s presidency, vice-presidency or other executive positions must pay K50 000, K40 000 or K30 000 application fees, respectively.

“Even Joyce Banda, if she wants to vie for presidency at the convention, she also has to apply like any person. There is nobody who is saying this position is for this person. Nobody should fear anything,” said Maulidi.

He said, as of Friday, nobody had collected application forms for the party’s presidency, adding the party will also elect three vice presidents at the convention for its Northern, Central and Southern provinces.

He said elections for the provincial vice-presidents will not be limited to aspirants from any of the particular regions.

On levelling of the playing field for the party’s elections, Chibwana said there are no “favoured cows in PP”. He said according to the party’s constitution, all registered PP members are free to compete for any position at the indaba.

“The rumour machinery is the only source of information at the moment and it is rife with names of people who are ready to contest,” said Chibwana.

He said the party is currently working on invitation of delegates and special guests to the convention.

Apart from conducting elections of the party’s national governing council (NGC) and presentation of the treasurer general’s report, Maseko said the party shall also adopt its constitution at the convention.

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