By Duncan Mlanjira
Former Cabinet Minister John Bande, who lost his seat as a Parliamentarian for Blantyre City East during the 2014 polls, says he intends to come back on a higher level than before if given the mandate again into the august House after the May 21 Tripartite elections.
Bande said after his defeat he took stock of what he had achieved and during the four-year ‘forced holiday’ he discovered that nothing much has been achieved in Blantyre City East constituency by the incumbent.
“Since I stood down as MP, nothing has been done to surpass what I achieved in my tenure of office which I held since 2005,” Bande said in an interview. “I feel the constituency needs good direction and I pledge to the constituents that that can be achieved through me.
“I pledge to raise the standards of education to a higher level than I left it up to technical college level, which is a standard for self employment for the youths.
“During my tenure of office, I initiated the construction of new Makhetha Primary School complete with teachers’ houses. Then there was the new Kizito Secondary School, new Nanjiriri Secondary School and also we built Kumpata Primary School.
“I also facilitated for a new Nanthoka Police wing, new Kizito primary and a new wing at Limbe Girls Primary. We facilitated for new teachers’ houses at Chichiri, Makalanga, Kizito, Nkolokoti and Limbe Girls primary schools while Limbe and Kanjedza primary schools were provided with boreholes for agriculture lessons
“A new bridge was built at Nanthoka while Limbe was facilitated with a new flea market. Porridge feeding shelters were provided for all our 11 primary schools as well as school libraries and water selling kiosks in all corners employing over a 100 people.”
Bande, who has a Masters in Political Leadership obtained from the University of Liverpool, did his primary school education at St Kizito and Limbe primary schools before going to Mzimu Woyera Seminary in Chikwawa for his high school.
He later did accounting at Malawi College of Accountancy and at Polytechnic Management Centre as well as Project Management at Malawi Institute of Management.
He has represented the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the People’s Party and served as Cabinet Minister in several portfolios — trade and industry; lands and urban development; tourism; labour; mining and as deputy minister of information and government spokesperson.
“I am now a farmer and running as an independent because I want unity. I feel that my change of allegiance in the past few years from one party to another might have not been welcomed by all constituents.
“So, I decided to be an independent this time around so that we can work in unity and be available to all. My passion to develop the area is because it made me what I am having been born and bred here,” he said.
Blantyre City East comprises Limbe, Kanjedza, Chichiri, Makhetha, Nkolokoti, Chikapa, Mapanga, Kachere, Mzedi and Chinyonga.