Esther Sagawa becomes second woman Lilongwe City Mayor

Sagawa takes oath of office

* She won by 21 votes, defeating Councillor Felix Tsokonombwe who got nine votes

* Her deputy is also a woman, Ruth Chingwalu, Councillor for Mtandile Ward and Sagawa takes over from Councillor Richard Banda

* As Zomba City Council elects Mpira Ward Councillor, Christopher Jana as the new mayor

Maravi Express

Councillor for Chimutu Ward, Esther Sagawa has been elected Mayor for Lilongwe City during elections held at Civic Office today — becoming the Capital City’s second woman city chief after Councilor Juliana Kaduya in 2019.

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Her deputy is also a woman, Ruth Chingwalu, Councillor for Mtandile Ward and Sagawa takes over from Councillor Richard Banda. She won by 21 votes, defeating Councillor Felix Tsokonombwe who got  nine votes.

The two women leaders put the test for the strong 50-50 campaign in the run-up to the 2019 general elections that called to put women in top leadership positions.

This also rides on the back of what Lilongwe City did by electing Kaduya as Mayor while in Karonga District, they opted to elect their only female Councillor Ethel Mwanza of Nyungwe Ward as Council chairperson.

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In Blantyre District, they elected Chilaweni Ward Councillor Carol Mdala of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the first female Council chairperson, replacing Soche Ward Councillor Jeremiah Jumbe, also of the DPP.

Unfortunately, Mdala shockingly died in March after a short illness and currently her Ward seat is set for by-elections on July 23.

Meanwhile, Zomba City Council also today elected Mpira Ward Councillor, Christopher Jana as the new mayor, replacing Davie Maunde who has been at the helm since 2021.

Councillor Christopher Jana

The Deputy Mayor is Masongola Ward Councillor, Anthony Gonani replacing Councillor Muneera Bakali and both Jana and Gonani ascended to the positions unopposed as there were no contestants.

The election process, overseen by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) officials, was marked by the absence of multiple candidates for each position, resulting into automatic victories for the two individuals who had expressed interest.

Chief Executive Officer for Zomba City Council, Archangel Bakolo announced the two as winners.

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In his acceptance speech, Jana committed to continue implementing various development activities aimed at improving the city, saying, among others, he will work towards attracting more investors to Zomba.

“Let me appeal to Council members, local NGOs, stakeholders and residents of Zomba to collaborate so that we achieve the city’s development goals,” Jana said.

Former Mayor, Maunde was not available to hand over the mantle as he is reported to be outside the country.

The election follows vacation of a stay order obtained by some councillors which had restricted the council to hold elections for the position.—Reporting from Zomba by Mwai Likhomo, MANA

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