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Malawi Congress Party
PresidentLazarus Chakwera
Secretary-GeneralEisenhower Mkaka
Treasurer GeneralAlbert Mbawala
Publicity SecretaryMaurice Munthali
FounderOrton Chirwa
Aleke Banda
Preceded byNyasaland African Congress
Youth wingMalawi Young Pioneers (disbanded)
IdeologyUbuntu philosophy
African nationalism[2]
Political position
Regional affiliationDemocrat Union of Africa
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
ColorsBlack, Red and Green
National Assembly
55 / 193
0 / 5
Pan-African Parliament
0 / 5
Election symbol
Party flag

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is a political party in Malawi. It was formed as a successor party to the banned Nyasaland African Congress when the country, then known as Nyasaland, was under British rule. The MCP, under Hastings Banda, presided over Malawian independence in 1964, and from 1966 to 1993 was the only legal party in the country. It has continued to be a major force in the country since losing power.

Following a court order to have a rerun of the 2019 Presidential election, a fresh Presidential election was held on 23 June 2020 which resulted in the MCP and its Tonse Alliance partners receiving approximately 60% of the national vote ushering the party back into government.


The Malawi Congress Party was the successor to the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) party, which was banned in 1959. The MCP was founded in 1959 by Orton Chirwa, Nyasaland's first African barrister, soon after his release from Gwelo Prison, and other NAC leaders including Aleke Banda and S. Kamwendo, in agreement with Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who remained in prison. The purpose for dashing the original NAC to form the MCP was the need for free operation since NAC was a banned party by that time.

Orton Chirwa became the first MCP president and later was succeeded by Hastings Banda after he was released from Gwelo Prison. Banda continued to hold the Presidency until his death in 1997.

In the 1961 Nyasaland elections, the MCP won all the seats in the legislature and later led Nyasaland to independence as Malawi in 1964. When Malawi became a republic in 1966, the MCP was formally declared to be the only legal party. For the next 27 years, the government and the MCP were effectively one. All adult citizens were required to be party members. They had to carry "party cards" in their wallets at all times.

The MCP lost its monopoly on power in a 1993 referendum and was roundly defeated in the country's first free elections the next year. It remains a major force in Malawian politics. It is strongest in the central region, populated by ethnic Chewa and Nyanja people.


The current MCP set up has seen the sprung up of affiliate groups that are all working to strengthen the party. Among them are Kokoliko , Mighty Tambala Graduates, Born Free and Malawi Congress Party Diaspora Network (MCPDN) . The MCP Diaspora Network has seen all MCP members and supporters living outside Malawi working together in support of the mother party back home.[3] It has Regional Wings in countries like UK, RSA, USA, Republic of Ireland, Canada, and the Gulf Region. The MCPDN current leader is UK based Chalo Mvula[4]


MCP members

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election Party candidate Votes % Result
1994 Hastings Banda 996,353 33.44% Lost Red XN
1999 Gwanda Chakuamba 2,106,790 45.21% Lost Red XN
2004 John Tembo 937,965 28.22% Lost Red XN
2009 1,365,672 30.49% Lost Red XN
2014 Lazarus Chakwera 1,455,880 27.8% Lost Red XN
2019 1,781,740 35.41% Lost Red XN
2020 2,604,043 59.34% Elected Green tickY

National Assembly elections

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
1961 Orton Chirwa Lower roll 71,659 98.8%
22 / 28
Increase 22 Increase 1st
Higher roll 385 10.3%
1964 Hastings Banda General roll
50 / 53
Increase 28 Steady 1st
Special roll
60 / 60
Increase 10 Steady 1st
70 / 70
Increase 10 Steady 1st
1978 100%
87 / 87
Increase 17 Steady 1st
1983 100%
101 / 101
Increase 14 Steady 1st
1987 100%
112 / 112
Increase 11 Steady 1st
1992 100%
141 / 141
Increase 29 Steady 1st
1994 996,047 33.68%
56 / 177
Decrease 85 Decrease 2nd
1999 Gwanda Chakuamba 1,518,548 33.81%
66 / 193
Increase 10 Steady 2nd
2004 John Tembo 785,671 24.85%
57 / 193
Decrease 9 Steady 2nd
2009 562,859 12.94%
26 / 193
Decrease 31 Steady 2nd
2014 Lazarus Chakwera 895,659 17.37%
48 / 193
Increase 22 Steady 2nd
2019 1,108,735 22.32%
55 / 193
Increase 7 Steady 2nd

See also


  1. ^ Wikman, Björn (2012). "The institutionalisation of political parties in Malawi". Lunds University. p. 13. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  2. ^ Manzano, Dulce (9 June 2017). Bringing Down the Educational Wall: Political Regimes, Ideology, and the Expansion of Education. Cambridge University Press. p. 89. ISBN 9781108508681. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  3. ^ "President Chakwera meets MCP Diaspora Leaders in London". Nyasa Times. August 2021.
  4. ^ "MCP Diaspora Network Elects New Committee: Chalo Mvula becomes new leader". Nyasa Times. 3 November 2020.