By Noel Masangwi
Esteemed members, I am raising these issues as Noel Masangwi, a bona fide member of the DPP and also a member of its National Governing Council (NGC). This is not a personal attack on anybody, neither is it meant to injure any member, and my apologies if anyone will be offended. I therefore urge you all to read this with a sober mind as we reflect on our common future as a party that we all love.
What is happening in the DPP today is chaotic. It seems anyone can just wake up and hold a press conference to speak for the party, particularly about the candidature of Saulos Chilima or Peter Mutharika in the elections next year.
There is just a cacophony of voices and it is hard to discern as to which message is which. The mixed messages are only confusing our members and machining us look like we are leaderless with no proper direction.
There was a press conference by the so called senior members of the party, including the so called Regional Vice Presidents; another one by regional youths; another one by representative of women, another one by the northern region representatives. This is simply wrong.
Unfortunately it is the people that are close to the President, the so called Advisors like Dr Chaponda etc that are misleading our President.
It is certainly not on that we should be waking up every day to be greeted by a duel of Chaponda and Ngalande playing out in the newspapers on matters of the DPP constitution. Really? Does that mean a whole big party like the DPP is failing to create a forum where these outstanding issues can be internally resolved?
The so called senior members said they conducted their press conference as representatives of NGC, i ask which NGC? Some of us are also members of DPP’s NGC but we were not consulted. In fact Ngalande can say he was speaking on behalf of NGC because he is also an NGC member. Now which NGC is which?
Ngalande’s reasons that he went to the media because the party did not provide a forum where members can air out their concerns is quite legitimate. What these so called senior members should have done was to ask the President to call for an NGC meeting where these matters can be deliberated as one family.
The solution is not to call for a press conference to demonize Ngalande. These so called senior people are misleading the President. Are they the ones advising him not to call for an NGC meeting? What are they afraid of?
As a lawyer, Dr Chaponda should have been the first person to accurately interpret the DPP constitution and provide guidance to our members about what it says regarding the holding of convention and presidential contests. It is a tragedy that he is the first one who is on the forefront misleading our members.
When the voice of the people is suppressed for a long time, it often comes in a fashion that others may not like, which is the case in our party right now. There should have been a forum where members are allowed to express themselves freely in a deliberative manner. If this forum was provided for, we would not be having all these press conferences.
But as a party we have never held any National Governing Council (NGC) meeting since 2013 because the so called senior advisors are ill-advising the President. They are selfish individuals who are ready to sacrifice the party at the altar of personal aggrandizement.
They are afraid to tell the President the truth because their positions will be threatened. It is that simple in the DPP right now.
Dr Chaponda should also not have been speaking on matters of the DPP constitution because his very position is not provided for in the constitution.
In fact many of those that are misleading the president today were merely appointed to their positions and not elected at any convention. This is the reason why some of us want to meet the President and explain to him properly about the concerns of the people in the party and explore the direction that we can take.
We feel Peter Mutharika is a reasoning and upright person who has the best interest of the DPP at heart. He is a good person but he has always been a victim of bad advice from a few misguided advisors.
We do not want our President to be embarrassed by the turn of events in the DPP, and in the same vein we believe he cannot let the whole party to suffer because a few people have chosen to be blind. Our party is a big organization, and we must not let it to be reduced into a butt of jokes through the actions of a few selfish individuals.
Is it not already embarrassing that we should actually be told by other people to go and read our own constitution before going public to embarrass ourselves? How far are we prepared to go as individuals to serve our personal interest over the interests of the party?
Our president should be advised to call an NGC meeting as a matter of urgency where these issues should be resolved. Those people calling for the Chilima’s candidacy next year should not just be dismissed outright; they should also be given a fair hearing because they are bona-fide members with every right to be heard.
The shadow-boxing that is currently raging through the party must not be allowed to go on at any cost. Time is certainly not on our side because we need to redirect our energies towards fighting a common enemy.
The in-fighting is doing us more harm than good; we may just end up giving government to others on a silver platter.
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post