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John Tembo

I have been following event in the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) with keen interest. And had the chance to listen to the recent interview the current party president John Tembo had with Zodiak Radio in which he was trying to explain the reasons behind the cancellation of their much awaited party convention. It is undeniable that MCP has found itself in a position where if they can play the cards right, can find themselves winning the general elections due next year. However, that opportunity has one stumbling block and it is the party president himself John Zenasi Ungapake Tembo.

Tembo born in 1932, has been the party member since 1964 and has represented as a presidential candidate in two previous general elections is apparently refusing to give way to new blood to lead the party. There have been calls for the party to take a new direction with new ideas from new people at the helm of its leadership. However that is something John Tembo is not willing to accept and has submitted his nomination papers for the convention to elect him to be the party’s candidate during the elections. Cham the blogger, is convinced that in as much as Tembo has contributed a lot to the party, time has come for him to step aside and take a new role letting others to lead the party.

Respect for Party constitution.

If there was a first person to respect the party constitution, John Tembo being a leader could have been one. Malawi Congress Party constitution section 36 stipulates that a leader is not allowed to stand for presidency for more than 2 five year terms. Tembo has passed that and it is sad that he is trying to get the constitution changed. With the political experience he has, Malawians would think he could be the model of democracy but time after time, Tembo displays nothing but characters of a dictator. To summarise it, Tembo ought to resign because the constitution does not allow him to stand.

For the good of the party

Nobody can deny that John Tembo loves the Malawi congress party and he cares for it. In his zodiak interview he attacked people like Gwanda Chakuamba who once abandoned the party and claims their motives are not for the good of the party. He is right, but if Tembo cares for the party indeed, he has to accept that time has come for new blood to take over.

Tried and failed

In countries like Uk and America, A party leader is given a chance to be party presidential candidate once. If that leader loses, automatically they give a chance for other to try. Malawi is no uk or America but the electorate have spoken twice that they don’t want John Tembo as Malawi president. He has lost the presidential race twice and still thinks he is the best person to rule Malawi.

 Age not on his side

John Tembo is 82 years old; if he can win next year he will be Malawi president at the age of 83. Lets not lie to ourselves, Tembo is old enough to go into retirement. Africa has a tendency of having old aged presidents but the truth of the matter is that times have changed and Africa needs fresh thinking young men and women. Former president of Nigeria olusegun obasanjo on handing over power once said “the era of old presidents in Africa is gone”. He was right, in as much as there is a starting age limit on who can stand as president surely there must be a cut off limit on who should not stand as well.

Reputation will not fully recover

They say some things are beyond PR and indeed, not even time can a healer in certain situations. Tembo legacy is already tainted from his time in Kamuzu Government. While most of what is written has never been fully proved, but in marketing terms even rumours can negatively affect a brand. In this case, Tembo often being linked to the many murders that took place in kamuzu era has done him no good. I remember former president Bakili Muluzi in his public rallies would say, John Tembo is so smart in that he can commit atrocities without people realising that it is him who has done it. Whether that is true or not but the majority of Malawians have grown to believe that the man can be evil.

With the reasons explained it is no wonder this blogger is convinced that John Tembo deserves to do the honourable thing of resigning and letting somebody be the party candidate in the forthcoming elections.




Kingsley Ngumuya

Their name has appeared in the mainstream media, they have had people discussing them both in UK and Malawi and the social media has seen updates and flyers all talking about Malawi Machester Association. But who are they? What do they stand for? And what is their connection with Manchester?

Cham the blogger caught up with one member of the group for an exclusive interview. He is Kingsley Ngumuya , who happens to be the Publicity Secretary of the group

Mr Ngumuya, as the publicist of the group, tell us what is Malawi Manchester Association all about?

Malawi Manchester Association (MMA)is the grouping of malawians in diaspora and currently living in Greater Manchester area. We decided to come together and form the association with the aim of achieving four main objectives
We are aimed at getting Malawians together for social events. We aim at helping each other in times of need, and that includes sicknesses and funerals. We aim at getting involved in charity activities to raise money to help situations in Malawi such as disasters and education. Lastly MMA will be a resource center to promote Malawi and our culture to people of other nationalities.

 So who are the people that are making the association? Is everyone free to join?

 The Association is open to every Malawian living in Greater Manchester area and their families. So far , on our initial formation, an executive commitee was formed which will run office for 18 months. Its is being headed by Charles leyman Kachitsa, with Rita Salika as the vice. The rest of the executive are: Madalitso Phoya is the secretary general with Andrew Chimenya as vice, Chalo Mvula is vice publicity secretary. Treaurer general Saidi  Lumanza Phiri seconded by Winston upile Mponda. Organising secretary is Harris Kabvina, seconded by Sharon Malunga, Welfare officer and Head of womens desk is Lynda Khembo Nwosu with Tamanda Chisambo as her vice. We also have executive members who are Ike Nwosu, Grace Msowoya and Emily Saiwala. As you can see its a great team so far.

Part of the MMA executive

Part of the MMA executive

 So if a person want to know more about your association and what you are offering, what can they do?

 We are pleased to inform people out there that we are actually having our official launch. So, for anybody interested to know what this association stand for is welcome to come and be part of us on the launch. We are having the big launch on Saturday 27th April and the venue is Cedar Mount High School, 50 wembley road, Gorton. Manchester M18 7TD. Everything will start at 5pm until 10pm.

 Well, that sounds like abig thing. Anything else interesting on the menu for the day?

Ha ha ha! MMA has arranged this event for Malawians to get excited. There will be performances by malawians. There will be free food and drinks. And please dont forger entrance to the event is free.
We are privileged in that the launching event will be attended by some special guests. We have the MP for the area sir gerald kaufman coming. We have the lord mayor for the city of manchester coming and we also have the malawi high commissioner to UK His Execellency Mr Ben Sande coming. It doesn’t get any better than this

 Looks like its a day not to be missed?

I can assure you it will be a great day for all. The executive committee will be introduced. We have also come up with the name of our trustees. They will be unveiled on the day although I can be happy to inform you that they are great men and women in society. We have dr michael banda, dave armstrong, Joyce Chiona, Adamson Machinjili, Pastor Derrick Chunda, Christina Malinyu and Keith Banda.

 Wishing you the best for your association and also your launching..any last word.

 My last word is to urge Malawians in Manchester to come and join us. Its their association and we are better off starting the journey together. There is alot we can accomplish by working together…to make it simple and straight forward ” together we can”


*****Kingsley Ngumuya was speaking exclusively in his role as the Publicity Secretary of MMA.******

5 Reasons Reverend Chakwera Can make a better Malawi President


Recent announcement by the leader of the Assemblies of God Church in Malawi, Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwera that he is planning to stand as a candidate during the Malawi Congress Party(MCP) convention has hit Malawi with surprise and in some quarters excitement.

” Here is a guy who will take Malawi back to the path of prosperity,”commented one  Malawian on his Facebook posting.  Rev Chakwera has not won the MCP presidency yet, and he is still far from becoming Malawi leader. But people’s reaction to his announcement has clearly shown that the Rev is highly tipped to be one of the hottest presidential contenders in next years Malawi general elections.

According to the statement in his press release Chakwera, aged 59, seems to acknowledge the many problems that Malawi is facing at the moment, and highlighted how keen he is to help sort them out. “I believe that I represent the kind of transformational leadership  that Malawi needs to stir her from the seeming vicious cycle of mediocrity, corruption, nepotism and politics  of subsistence to high levels of excellence, integrity, unity and abundance for all,’”read part of his official statement.

Cham the blogger has tried to come up with FIVE reasons why Chakwera would make a better president if he manages to win the party nomination and go on to win the presidential elections.

      He is a well educated man

There is no denying that Lazarus Chakwera is well educated.  Since we have some candidates trying to sell themselves on the fact that they are PhD holders, it will be unfair to deny the Reverend the same privilege. Chakwera holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Chancellor College, a bachelor of theology (Hons), a masters degree from University of South Africa and a doctorate PhD from Trinity International University in USA. There has been debate on whether high school qualifications  guarantees a better presidency, however it is no secret the current problems Malawi is facing needs somebody who can understand the problems better, Intellectually strong to come up with quick solutions to fix things

God fearing

Malawi is known as a God fearing nation- Chakwera coming from a church background will be a better person to lead this God fearing nation. We have different religions in the country including some atheists, and as  God fearing man his approach is more likely to be that which promotes love and unity. God fearing people are meant to be caring, to be forgiving and to seek God guidance before doing things. it will be interesting to see how the reverend will use his God fearing status as a president.However, there is no doubt that , this separates him from the other crop of presidential candidates.

Offers new breed of politics

The death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika , exposed one area in Malawi politics that many people have not been happy about. It’s the issue of ‘recycled politicians’. Politicians who never fade away, and keeps switching parties to find themselves in the government of the day. Chakwera being a new comer in politics offers some fresh air.  While some may argue that  he will fal into the same trap of apointing recycled politicians when in office, but there is hope that MCP itself has alot of new names that may mean a new chapter in malawi politics. MCP has an opportunity here to rebrand and reposition themselves. Chakwera proves to be the perfect person to be at the heart of the partys rebranding.

 He can be trusted

Politicians in Malawi have built a reputation for making false promises, are known for high levels of corruption and have made politics to be un attractive to many people. Chakwera seems to be different. While possibilities that he will change cant be overruled, but he commands a lot of respect and trust from most Malawians. He is the sort of candidate that can give hope to people that lost faith in politics .It is a common tendecy in Malawi that a man of God is often trusted- and this gives Chakwera a big boost in his reputation.

Experience as a leader

The leadership and management principles are very often the same. Lazarus Chakwera is the man who has been in leadership position for a long time. He became the president of Assemblies of God in 1989 and has been its leader since. In addition to that, he has found himself serving in a lot of parastatal bodies such as Petroleum Control Commission, Malawi National Council of Sports and Media Council of Malawi. His negotiation skills are also highly visible with the role he played in the mediation of the Budget vs Section 65. Being a church leader, it is clear that the man has experience of knowing how to mix with the grassroots as well as the elite in society.

However, it should be understood that Chakwera has some weaknesses and areas that can make him not be a better president. His lack of political experience is one of them but that area will be explored further later.

***Cham the blogger is in no way endorsing Rev  Lazarus Chakwera. This is just a critical look on the qualities he may have to be Malawi President****


He came and shocked the whole Malawi nation. His name was Jim Jumani Johansson. While many malawians grew up thinking the first head of the state Hastings Kamuzu Banda had no children, here was a young man, announcing to the country that he was the child of  the former president. His resemblance to the former president  left many convinced that he indeed, is kamuzus son.

Jim jumani, came from Sweden and claimed that he was the late president son thorough his mother, Mirriam Kaunda. He  managed to officially change his name to jim  jumani kamuzu banda but his highly publicised campaign to get official recognition yielded  to nothing. The decision by the kamuzu family in not allowing him have an official DNA test meant that the real truth will never be known.His frustration became visible when he started attacking the then head of state Bingu Mutharika, calling him names. The situation that led to him being deported. He was finally deported back to Sweden on September 28, 2011


Malawi ex president Kamuzu (L) and jumani (R)

The recent inauguration of  of Kenya’s  new president, Uhuru Kenyatta , son of that countrys former president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta got me thinking of Jumani.  And the fact that the defeated presidential candidate in kenyas election Raila odinga, is son to former Kenyas opposition leader Jaramogi oginga odinga, had me debating this whole trend of politicians having their children become politicians as well. It is no surprise that I started questioning myself “ What about if Kamuzu had a son? , well what about if Jumani was officially recognized?

The situation of having sons of former presidents themselves trying to be presidents is not new in the politics world. In America , John Quincy Adams and George Bush jnr were sons of former presidents. Malawi for instance has its own example . Atupele Muluzi, son  to former head of state Bakili Muluzi will be a presidential candidate in the forthcoming Malawi general elections.

While it might not be of interest to the opposition Malawi congress party (MCP) of which Kamuzu was its president, it is however clear that the party is undecided as to who will lead the party in the next general elections. Many are wondering if its current leader John Tembo will leave the mantle to somebody else, especially now that the party constitution requires him not to stand again the next elections. So really , can Jumani Banda be the next Uhuru Kenyatta to revive the fortunes of the once mighty MCP? Can John Tembo be willing to handover power just because it is kamuzus son?. However, all this is wishful thinking, considering the fact that Jumani is not officially recognized as Kamuzu’s son.

It is even easy to argue that Jumani is not a politician and never did he express any interest to be a politician when he was in Malawi. It is of great interest though that the young man  who was so vocal about being kamuzu son has just gone quiet. While it was the Bingu Government that sent him parking,one would assume the coming of the new Joyce Banda regime would be an opportunity for him to continue his campaign to be officially recognized.

No wonder jumani will always split opinions among Malawians. Others regard him as grandiose filled opportunist who wanted to con the kamuzu family  and that he made up his stories, while others are convinced that indeed, he is kamuzu’s child, and that the kamuzu family refused him official DNA for the sake of protecting kamuzu estate.

One thing is certain though, Jumani Banda is no Uhuru , he is no Atupele and probably he will never dominate the headlines again.