LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) councilor for Chigoneka ward Desmond Bikoko has been elected Lilongwe City Council Mayor replacing the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) councilor for Kawale 1 Ward Willie Chipondera.
Councilor Bikoko beat independent councilor for Chimutu ward Akwame Bandawe who was a former deputy mayor.
Bandawe, who got nominated by DPP councilors, was defeated in full view of his party’s gurus including secretary general Francis Mphepo and presidential advisor Hetherwick Ntaba.
The position of deputy major has gone to Juliana Kaduya who beat Christopher Namankhwa with 17 votes against 14, both from the ruling DPP.
In his acceptance speech, the newly elected mayor Bikoko assured the general public of non-partisanship in the mayoral leadership.
Bikoko disclosed that his first duty in office is to make sure that the council is audited for the past three financial year warning that those that lost finances through fraud will be tracked down.
He hinted that his mayoral term will not be business as usual as he will be totally committed to rebranding Lilongwe city to match with international standards.
“This is my second time to contest on this post. Last time I lost and I accepted that it wasn’t my time. Honestly, am happy that Lilongwe has chosen “hope over fear” and development over division. We promise to generate enough revenue for the development of the city by reviewing also our by-laws”, assured Bikoko.
MCP director of elections Maxwell Thyolera did not mince words saying that it was an extraordinary moment to have Bikoko as Mayor of Lilongwe, the move which will boost the party’s strength in Lilongwe ahead of 2019 general elections.
But DPP SG Mphepo downplayed the loss arguing that the win for a mayoral post in the capital was not enough to guarantee for winning general elections.
Bikoko holds Masters Degrees in Project Management and Business Management from Colorado Technical University and a PhD in International Business.
Meanwhile, both Blantyre and Mzuzu city councils will conduct their mayoral polls on January 9, 2017.