Serving as cabinet minister prepared me for Malawi vice presidency – Mia

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Vice President of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Sidik Mia has said his experience as a Cabinet Minister in different portfolios and successfully running businesses are some of his strengths as runningmate for Lazarus Chakwera in the forthcoming elections and subsequently as Malawi’s Vice President when voted into power.

Speaking during a rally at Ntungulusi Primary School ground in Zomba on Wednesday, Mia said he would rather focus on the combined strength of himself and Chakwera rather than talk about the other candidates and their runningmates.

“The experiences I gained from the different ministerial positions and successfully running businesses, have prepared me for the vice presidency,” said Mia.

Political Commentator, George Phiri concurred with Mia on his success as a businessman and serving in different ministerial positions but was quick to point out that success in one environment may not guarantee success everywhere.

“There are different factors that constitute to success so in this case the success of a Vice President depends on the leadership since the position is delegated and if the leader does not want to delegate certain positions maybe because he feels there will be a conflict of interest between him and his follower, it may lead to successful people failing, but this is not always the case, some are failures from the start,” said Phiri.

Phiri added that the problem is with the constitutional position of the Vice President saying people fail to excel if they are not given the opportunity.

“Unless we deal with the constitutional mandate of this office, the issue of being successful somewhere may not be translated to success in politics,” he concluded.

Section 79 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi stipulates that there shall be a First Vice-President and, subject to section 80 (5), a Second Vice-President both of whom shall assist the President and who shall exercise the powers and perform the functions conferred on the First Vice-President or the Second Vice-President, as the case may be, by the Constitution or by any Act of Parliament and by the President.

However, since the position of Vice President was introduced in 1994, its office has been mostly ceremonial.

Mia was first elected as Member of Parliament for Nkombezi constituency in 2004 and since then he has served as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security, Deputy Minister of Mines, Natural Resources and Environment, Minister of Irrigation and Water Development as well as Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure which he resigned from in 2014.

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