Malawi’s Aford leader quits

Blantyre, Malawi, Nov. 25 (Raphael Tenthani/News Time Africa) _ Dindi Gowa Nyasulu, president of Malawi’s fifth largest political party – the Alliance for Democracy (Aford), has resigned, a senior party official has announced.

Malawi

“Mr. Dindi Gowa Nyasulu has resigned his position. He is retiring from active politics to concentrate on family life,” Aford Secretary General Khwauli Msiska told a press conference in the capital, Lilongwe, Sunday.

Godfrey Shawa has been appointed by the party’s politburo to act as party president, according to Msiska.

Aford was founded by fire-brand pro-democracy campaigner Chakufwa Chihana in 1992 after the Catholic Church made the first direct challenge to the then one-party dictatorship under Hastings Kamuzu Banda and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The party swooped all the 33 parliamentary seats in the northern region and three more in the central district of Kasungu making it the king-maker despite Chihana losing the presidency to Bakili Muluzi in the first multiparty elections in 30 years in 1994.

To balance power in Parliament Muluzi invited Aford into an alliance with the then ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) and made Chihana Second Vice-President.

The party’s fortunes started waning when Chihana unilaterally dumped government accusing it of corruption. Aford ministers who went into cabinet with him refused to follow him out of government. The party split into two with one faction forming a rival party.

By the time Chihana was dying in 2006 the party only had six seats in the 193-member Parliament. Currently it only has two MPs – Msiska and party chairman Enoch Chihana, the founder’s son. Both Msiska and Chihana are ministers in President Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party-led government.

© 2012, Raphael Tenthani. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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