As political parties’ race against time to conduct primary elections and identify flag-bearers for the 30 March by-election, eight people have expressed interest to contest on the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) ticket in Lilongwe Nsinja South constituency.
The aspirants include Francis Belekanyama, a son to fallen veteran MCP lawmaker for the area Lingson Belekanyama who until his death also served as the Minister of Local Government.
Speaking in an interview, the 36-year-old Belekanyama, whose late father was a towering figure in MCP politics vowed to continue with his legacy should he win the party primary elections whose date is not yet known.
“I plan to contest in the primary elections and continue from where my father stopped because that is what he would have wanted me to do as he used to assign me duties here,” he said.
He added that among his major plans are to establish a bursary scheme for needy students, construct a tarmac road and renovate the clinics in the constituency.
However, following into his father’s footsteps will not be a walk in the park for the Belekanyama Junior as other candidates are also coming with guns blazing for the ruling party ticket.
Among these contestants is Henrick Chidzumeni Kumkeyani who has bemoaned the lack of a boarding secondary school as retrogressive and promised to lobby government on the matter.
“It is painful that there is no boarding secondary school here which has also forced many students to drop out of school early and also people do not have access to portable water,” said Kumkeyani.
While the candidates agree on most of the problems facing the area, they differ in implementation of solutions.
Weighing in on the matter, MCP National Campaign Director Moses Kunkuyu hailed the candidates interest to be the party’s torchbearer as a sign of democracy in the party.
“This is mature democracy and plans are underway conduct primary elections very soon using the structures we have on the ground,” said Kunkuyu.
It is expected that MCP will lock horns with a horde of independent candidates emanating from the primary elections and opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) where only Mustafa Macdonald is known to have shown interest to be its candidate as of now.
The other six candidates seeking MCP candidature are: Lameck Kondesi, Hasten Mlinde, Amos Chibwana, Jones Vamilani Chadza, Hermann Yokoniah Mvula, Lefinosi Chigamula and Fanizo Kabwazi