By: Lloyd M’bwana

SALIMA-(MaraviPost). Pressure is said to be mounting in the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) ahead of the expected May 3 court rulings.

 

Upon being expelled they called for the party to hold a convention to discuss their fate. Party leadership denied their request and thus the district chairmen looked to the Malawi courts for relief.
On Friday, April 29 about 47 expelled district chairmen converged in the lakeshore district of Salima to map the way forward in anticipation on what the court will decide.
The bone of contention comes amid dissatisfaction among four regional chairpersons whom on January 9, 2016 issued a letter accusing MCP’s President Lazarus Chakwera of raping the party’s constitution that the MCP was losing direction in its affairs.

In a letter, the four chairpersons namely Baza Kaunda, Stowell Gondwe, and Bauleni Mkweza, and Abi Jana (but now withdrawn from the list) for North-South, North-North and Lakeshore respectively were concerned with the silence from Chakwera after the party’s Administrative Secretary Potiphar Chidaya and other party officials were beaten up last year in Blantyre.

Not only that the group also accused MCP leader of nepotism, claiming that the majority of positions in the party are held by people from Lilongwe where Chakwera also comes from.

“Does this imply that this party is now only from Lilongwe? Imagine that Second Secretary General, Administrative Secretary , Treasure General and deputy, Director of elections, Director of youth (Louis Chankwantha) Director of Women (Majankomsi), Honorable Belekanyama, Ching’oma, Dzole Mwale Chimango are all from Lilongwe just to mention a few”, reads in part the letter signed by Baza Kaunda, Stowell
Gondwe, Bauleni Mkweza and Abi Jana

Apart from that the disgruntled chairpersons blame Chakwera for apparently giving more powers to Members of Parliament (MPs) and not respecting constituency, district and regional committees therefore challenged MCP President not to conduct meetings or elections until a convention is held.

Consequently, after issuing the letter, MCP National Executive Committee (NEC) fired the disgruntled regional and district chairpersons who were part of the movement whom eventually went to court to challenge the party including the continual call for fresh
convention.

In March, the High Court in the capital Lilongwe ordered MCP to hold a convention within 90 days the decision which didn’t go well with the party’s NEC which argued that was not given its side of the story as there was no legal representation the time the court was making such a ruling.

Thereafter, the court set a date last week for the hearing which eventually scheduled May 3, 2016 for the final verdict on whether the party must go on convention or not.

Daniel Mlomo, former central region chairman on Saturday evening, April 30 through a telephone interview confirmed The Maravi Post the occurrence of the meeting which aimed at strategizing a head of the court’s ruling.

“We indeed gathered as ex-chairpersons of the party in order to strategize a head of the Tuesday’s court ruling and join our brothers who pushed the petition for a constitutional redress with the courts and were granted a call for an emergency convention. We are former leaders and current leaders with passion for the party and are determined to iron out the irregularities constitutionally at the convention.

“We are not against the incumbent leadership but we aren’t happy on abusing presidency office and raping the constitution of the party by taking over the role of a convention in electing people into the National Executive Committee (NEC). We are not supporting the call to change leadership but to address this tendency of not following
procedure set in the constitution of the party”, says Mlomo.

Echoing on the same Khamalatha District chairman for Dedza East disputed the claims that their intentions were to disrupt the party saying they were behind Chakwera as MCP leader but wanted the party’s constitution be followed.

“We are caring leaders, we love our party and we love our dear president Dr. Lazarus Chakwera. What we are against is the fact that things are not procedural in the party anymore. Things are running completely against our own constitution. And that is bad. If we tolerate this, what could happen if we are to win an election and be trusted to run this country? Are we not going to disregard the Republican Constitution as well?” wonders Khamalatha.

The Maravi Post later caught up with Gustavo Kaliwo, MCP Secretary General on prospect of such a gathering ahead of the court’s determination, who advised the members to wait what the court will rule on the matter.

“Honestly, am just hearing from you that there was such a meeting. What we as a party is that Mlomo was welcomed back by President Chakwera when the party hosted a joint rally with Aford and Peoples Party (PP) in February this year at Kalambo School, Area 25 in Lilongwe which as a party we didn’t expect that. Therefore, we need to wait until the court decides on the matter. In fact, it’s just a month after the high court ordered the party to hold a convention. We are one including them all”, says Kaliwo.

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