Expelled Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president responsible for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa says he will still be on the 2025 presidential election ballot despite his expulsion from the party.
The Mulanje Central legislator, whose tenure of the position of Leader of Opposition in Parliament is under threat, said this in Ndirande Township in Blantyre yesterday after attending the induction of the Reverend Maxwell Ngwaya at Ndirande Makata CCAP congregation.
Nankhumwa: I have accepted expulsion
After the function, Nankhumwa was greeted by a group of people that was seen tearing into pieces DPP cloth purportedly to show their anger over the expulsion of Nankhumwa and others.
In his address, he said his dream to become the country’s president remains alive and that he will contest in the forthcoming general elections.
Nankhumwa said he has accepted the expulsion from DPP and that he will not join any political party, but was elusive on whether they will form a new political party.
He said: “My dreams to contest for the country’s State presidency next year are still alive and I want to assure you that next year, you will see me on the ballot paper.
“We need to move forward to see how best we are going to take care of ourselves politically. I am not going to any other political party and this week I will inform the nation on the way forward because a lot of supporters are asking questions.”
But in separate interviews, political analysts Ernest Thindwa and Boniface Dulani observed that Nankhumwa’s chances to win the 2025 Presidential Election on an independent ticket are minimal.
Thindwa said the winner in next year’s presidential elections will either come from DPP or Malawi Congress Party (MCP) because the two parties have the largest following based on the regional and ethnic voting pattern in the country.
He said: “He [Nankhumwa] may win as an MP [member of Parliament] which again will be extremely challenging, but certainly he will not win as a president if he goes as an independent candidate or forms another party.
“Malawians vote for a party on the basis of where they come from and their ethnic identity. The parties with the largest following on the basis of region and ethnic identity are MCP and DPP. Beyond this, I don’t see any other candidate winning apart from a candidate who will stand for any of the two parties I have mentioned,” he said.
On his part, Dulani, who teaches political science at the University of Malawi, said history shows that it is difficult for an independent candidate to win in the presidential elections.
“Of course, he has not said he would want to be an independent candidate, it’s possible that he might have some tricks in the bag to wrestle the DPP away from the current leadership,” he said.
On January 20 this month, DPP Central Committee expelled from the party Nankhumwa, Zomba Chisi legislator Mark Botomani and former secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey. Others who were also fired from the party include former director of women Cecelia Chazama, former publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi, Joe Thomas Nyirongo, and Ken Msonda.
The 11 were accused of undermining Mutharika’s authority and disrespecting party leadership contrary to Article 6 of the DPP constitution for calling, leading and attending the December 6 2023 nullified national governing council meeting in Lilongwe.
Cracks in DPP came to light after Jeffrey in August 2020 told The Nation that Mutharika had done his part and that the party needed a new person to lead it into the future, calling for an early convention.