Search For APM’s Runningmate: Atupele, Tay Grin, Nankhumwa, Chimunthu, Jappie on the final list

After an intensive search, atleast five people have made it through into the final list of potential candidates to pair President Peter Mutharika in the next year’s poll for the position of runningmate and second vice president.

Mutharika’s inner circle comprising of chief political advisor Francis Mphepo, DPP’s director of special duties Pastor Brown James Mpingajira, Secretary General Jeff wa Jeffrey, Executive Assistant Dr. Bright Molande and DPP’s vice president for the Northern Region Goodall Gondwe presented the names to Mutharika on Friday, December 28, at the Chikoko Bay State Residence in Mangochi.

The five were assigned by Mutharika to weigh the popularity of 15 names, in which five have made it through. The remaining task will remain in the hands of Mutharika after thoroughly screening the five.

According to final list as peeped by this publication, the most interesting package is that of hip-hop star Tay Grin, real name Limbani Kalilani and Transport & Public Works Minister Jappie Mtuwa Mhango.

Others are the usual suspects, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Henry Chimunthu Banda and Atupele Muluzi.


Atupele: On the final list
He is coming with a constituency of traditional voters that stretches along the Yao dominated districts of Machinga, Mangochi, parts of Balaka and Zomba. He is a Muluzi- a political brand that is unmistakable.

Along the Yao belt, his UDF party remained a force to date. Atupele championed clean politics in running up to 2014 elections and he has remained clean, disciplined and respected among the youthful voters. He dubbed his campaign ‘Agenda for Change’. On several occasions, Mutharika has called him “my son”. He is currently Health and Population Minister. T

Kalilani: Commands huge respect amongst youths
A trained marketer and a culturalist, Limbani Kalilani- who is well known as Tay Grin- is bringing a youthful and less conservative population vote into President Peter Mutharika’s plate of votes. There is evidence that the voting pattern revolves around regions; Tay Grin comes from Dowa, in the Central Region, where his mother Dr. Jean Kalilani continues to defy Malawi Congress Party’s continued dominance at will.

So far, of all the regions, a dominance of the Chewa heritage is on top in as far as higher voter registration rate is concerned. The Central Region will be a fiercely fought battle ground for next year’s elections. The Central Region is where DPP ought to mount its serious campaign in readiness of the 2019 elections. The mention of Chimunthu Banda and Tay Grin in the conversation on APM’s running mate nomination list is therefore not surprising.

In the arts industry, Tay Grin has displayed innovation and resilience; while his peers were copying hip-hop as it is played in the United States of America, Tay Grin embraced culture and stepped in with a fusion of traditional beat to add meaning to music that most Malawians could not relate to at the time. Tay Grin has maintained that approach which has earned him recognition both on the local and international scene. Tay Grin has become a popular figure locally influencing millions of youth most of them will likely be decisive during the 2019 Presidential elections. Not only does Tay Grin command a huge following among the youth but he has also made himself relevant by engaging decision makers at all levels. His becoming a He-For-She Campaigner is the recognition by decision makers that Tay Grin occupies that position which no youth had had the courage to occupy for decades. His choice would be a vote of confidence among the youth in Malawi.

During the free shows he held in all the three regions — which he sponsored from his personal coffers — Tay Grin invested a considerable amount of his resources to mobilise the youth to register for 2019 votes. The response was overwhelming and Tay Grin believes that he speaks for the youth who have always responded to his life-changing campaigns. This will not be any different as the road to 2019 gathers momentum and Tay Grin will surely be an important piece to complete the winning formula that DPP will devise.


Chimunthu-Banda: Also shortlisted
He is a seasoned politician of great reputation. Having served as parliamentarian, cabinet minister and speaker of the national assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda is bringing unequaled experience, and respect into the vice presidency. As a plus, he comes from Nkhotakota in the Central Region, where his choice would bruise the MCP greatly. He received a Diploma in Education obtained from the University of Malawi in 1984. Subsequently, he earned a Diploma in Education Management which he acquired from Brandon University. He joined the Ministry of Education as a Diploma teacher in 1985 and was posted to Euthini Secondary School in Northern Malawi until May 1989. He was posted to his home district of Nkhotakota where he rose to become headteacher of the school. In 1993-1995, he became the Regional Publications Officer for the National Teachers Union of Malawi.


Nankhumwa: Has gained populariy in the Southern Region
A 40-year-old political heavyweight on the rise. In the last four years, Nankhumwa has risen through the ranks. His choice as leader of government business in parliament has greatly paid off as the DPP has not lost any bill or motion in Parliament. His ascendancy to the DPP Southern Region vice presidency has seen the party being shaken off the slumber. He is coming to the vice presidency with unquestionable loyalty to both DPP and president Mutharika. He has also performed extremely well in his Mulanje Central Constituency.


Mhango: For the Northern Region votes
Probably one of Mutharika’s very few trusted soldiers. Currently Transport and Public Works Minister, Mhango comes from the Northern Region where UTM is said to be enjoying dominance. Where others see DPP and a Lhomwe dominated political enterprise, his choice is likely to shutter the hopes of politicians that thrive on regionalistic card.

This article was written by malawi news network.

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