The Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) has opened its national headquarters in Lilongwe as the party looks to rebuild and regain its popularity.
In an exclusive interview, AFORD President Enoch Chihana said the party has secured offices at the low density Area 47 so that it acts as a central point in the rebuilding process of the party.
He also said the party intends to open regional offices in the North and Eastern regions.
“We cannot talk about revamping the party when we still have no offices,” he said, adding that they now have opened doors to anyone wishing to join the party.
“I have advised my team to say open the doors — pasapezeke otchinga (nobody should be barred from joining,” he said.
Chihana expressed optimism that the party is regaining its lost glory and currently, for the first time, it has recruited a vice-president from the Southern Region — Dr. Louis Mbiridzi from Chiradzulu.
Just recently, Chihana received some senior party members from the former ruling party, the Democratic Progressive (DPP) — who were led by former deputy national publicity secretary (Central) Chris Michael Thaulo.
Thaulo has said he decided to join AFORD because of the negative environment in DPP, that has potential to dent his political ambitions.
Chihana said following the announcement of the party rebuilding, a lot of people have been willing to join them.
He said he was delighted to see such prominent people like the deputy publicity secretary of the former ruling party joining AFORD.
Chihana said that lack of communication with the grassroots from all regions of the country had been a major setback to the party’s popularity.
Founded by the late Chakufwa Chihana, AFORD has, over the years lost most of the seats in Parliament from the 30 seats it enjoyed from 1994. The party currently has one seat through Yeremiah Chihana of Mzimba North.
Alliances with the then ruling United Democratic Front and opposition Malawi Congress Party led to disagreements within the rank and file of the party leading to formation of factions and splinter parties.
Ahead of the 2019 Presidential Elections, Chihana tussled for the party presidency with former Karonga Central legislator Frank Mwenifumbo.
The two announced their reunion during the signing ceremony of the Tonse Alliance partnership in Lilongwe, when they both declared their allegiance to the partnership.