Tue. Nov 19th, 2019

AFORD ruling good for both camps to reconcile for 2019 elections

By Patricia Mtungila-MEC

A  social commentator  has described the Lilongwe High Court ruling,  last week by  Judge  Charles Mkandawire to nullify the two  parallel conventions that elected Frank Mwenifumbo and Enock Chihana  both as President of AFORD,   as  good for both parties.

George Allan Phiri  a Lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Livingstonia said this in an interview on Saturday.

“ The decision by the Court is very good and it is in favour of both parties to elect the leadership that will take the Party to prepare for the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

“What is very important for AFORD is to come together and  advocate for the leadership  elections and then conduct the convention for them to  begin aligning themselves to prepare for the  2019 Tripartite Elections,” said Phiri.

In his ruling, Judge Mkandawire determined that AFORD needed to hold a fresh convention to elect legitimate leadership.

But Mwenifumbo who  claims that he has always extended an arm of  dialogue to his rival Chihana says  his camp is  currently contemplating taking the matter for appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal as a final resolve.

Mwenifumbo was, however,   quick to point out that  court processes could lower the Party’s chances of triumphing in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

“Now we are weighing chances of going  to appeal or not to appeal.  This is a democracy we are going to weigh will weigh the options and see, we may go to Supreme Court and see but the judgement may come out next year after the elections have taken place.

“Due to lack of intra-Party democracy within AFORD  this  is affecting the Party  in preparing for the Elections,  overshadowing its chances of winning in the Tripartite elections, said Mwenifumbo.

The Chihana contender said that he agreed with the Court ruling that the governance challenges affecting the Party could only be resolved with political solutions from within AFORD.

But AFORD  Publicity Secretary Khumbo Mwaungulu claims that the AFORD  is still a strong political Party  that  is already positioning itself  for the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

“As a Party we do not see anything that can affect the Party. The Court ruled that we can hold a convention at a certain time.  You know holding a convention  needs money. We need to sit down and see how we can raise the money,”

“Already the membership was there and is already there but what was confusing was who the president was. We are busy planning and putting our house in order. So, we may go to the Elections without a convention or after a convention,” said Mwaungulu.

Friday’s Court ruling  is expected to bring to a closure  a leadership wrangle that ensued  between Chihana and Mwenifumbo in May after  two  factions  within AFORD held parallel conventions which separately elected  Mwenifumbo   and, Chihana president.

Malawi’s political parties are now  pinned by a  new Legislation dubbed the Political Parties Law to  hold a convention every five years after registration or face  the threat of deregistration.


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