Today, I had the distinguished and humbling honor of opening the long-awaited Convention of the Malawi Congress Party. It is no secret that our journey here was encumbered by various attempts to thwart our efforts to come together as one. If those who did so feared that our Convention would showcase the zeal and unity with which you Malawians are joining this nation-wide movement in every district to take our country back from thieves, they were right. As the first day of the Convention has shown, we are the only national party that pledges to serve you by offering to form the next government to create A NEW MALAWI ENJOYED BY EVERYONE.

Notwithstanding, not only do we harbor no ill will towards those who spared no resource to obstruct this convention, but we have demonstrated that as much as we may have differences of opinion commensurate with our democratic values, we always act in good faith, in unity, and in compliance with the law for the good of all Malawians. That is why, as a gesture of good will, we resolved to bar NO ONE from contesting for any and all NEC positions they so desired at this Convention. Of course, giving people the freedom to stand for any office also means respecting their right to choose not to contest at all, in which case those who thus emerge as winners without contest are no less democratically elected than those who emerge as winners through a contest. We accept that democracy is a dynamic process that respects the rights of all, not a domineering one that determines what is right for all.

Fellow Malawians, I am therefore confident that this Convention will produce an Executive Committee ready to serve you from day one. And I personally can’t thank you enough for the magnanimity you’ve shown me today, giving me a fresh mandate to continue leading the party, this time alongside Mr. Sidik Mia, our new Party Vice President, and a new National Executive Committee elected by you. In a special way, I thank God for the trust you’ve placed in me to lead you in battle as we fight shoulder to shoulder over the next twelve months leading up to the General Elections to rid our Government of this DEADLY PILFERING POISON that is killing your development, your democracy, and your dignity.

Kwachaaaa!

Lazarus Chakwera,
President, MCP.

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