BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Citizens For Transformation (CFT), a political movement which was formed by former Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Timothy Mtambo, has come in the open justifying the decision of its leader to align with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in forthcoming by-elections.
Mtambo, who is now Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, publicly campaigned for MCP candidate Leonard Mwalwanda in Karonga Central Constituency over the weekend, a move that attracted criticisms from some members of the grouping who expected CFT to be non-partisan.
Reacting to the accusations during a press briefing on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, CFT Department of Communications has condemned those who are accusing their leader saying their “argument, which looks appealing on its surface, has a deficiency of considered facts.”
According to CFT communications and public relations strategist Negracious Justin, Mtambo went to campaign in the constituency on personal capacity not as a cabinet minister as per people’s speculations.
“Firstly, it must be noted that Comrade Timothy Mtambo did not go to Mangochi West and Karonga Central Constituencies to campaign as a Minister. Just like all other Ministers belonging to different political formations go out to campaign, not as Ministers, but as members and/or officials of their respective parties, the CFT CIC went on the campaign ground as such. Accusing him of abandoning his role as a Minister responsible for National Unity over his going on the ground to campaign as a politician is surely a deficient accusation that begs merit.
“It is an accusation that comes across dressed in robes of hypocrisy and deliberate or coincidental misunderstanding of basic facts,” said Justin.
According to Justin CFT decision to support and campaign for MCP candidates in Karonga and Mangochi is based on principles of justice and fairness considering the circumstances that have necessitated the holding of the election in the two constituencies.
“On that note ladies and gentlemen, this briefing seeks to assert the position of CFT in regards to these by-elections. For avoidance of doubt, the CFT decision to support MCP candidates in Karonga Central and Mangochi West Constituencies is based on principles of justice and fairness.
“It is only fair to realize that the people of Karonga Central gave their five-year mandate to the candidate that belonged to MCP. Death, as a natural circumstance, happened (May the Soul of the late rest in peace) but that should not suspend the will of the people of that constituency. It is only just to see to it that the will of the people, which is embraced in the five-year mandate, is preserved,” said Justin.
He added: “It is only fair to realize that Simeon Harris challenged the fraud that occurred in his Mangochi West constituency. He approached the court for determination and the court found for him.
“When Mr. Harrison approached our leader for help in terms of campaign, the CFT, upon examining the circumstances reached a decision that it was only just to promote electoral justice and his request was considered favorably. On that note, CFT pledged to support Mr. Harrison accordingly. When there is a knock on door, in most cases, the attendant opens. Upon the examination of the circumstances, there is no reason for CFT to decline his request for our support.”
Meanwhile, divisions have rocked the movement following the decision of the founder to align with MCP.
A good number of the CFT members have already announced their decision to drum up support for UTM Party aspiring candidate Frank Mwenifumbo in the forthcoming by-election in Karonga Central Constituency on November 10.
Speaking to the media on Saturday at Usisya ground in the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu, where UTM Party’s Kayitano Simwaka, Winnie Nyondo and Mirriam Gwalidi conducted a political campaign rally, the groups chairperson Henry Nyambose said as a political grouping that was formed to dislodge the immediate past ruthless DPP government, they feel abandoned as their leader Mtambo has never visited.
Nyambose further said the decision by their Commander In-chief to drum up support for Mwalwanda has also provoked them, saying the CFT stood by Mwenifumbo throughout the campaign in the run up to the Fresh Presidential Polls such that it is a taboo to support the MCP candidate.
He said: “We feel dejected and betrayed by Mtambo as he has never visited us since the Fresh Presidential Elections. Worse still, since his appointment as a cabinet minister, we have not heard from him up until yesterday (Friday) when we learnt that he has come to Karonga to rally behind Mwalwanda.
“That has propelled us to switch our allegiance from CFT to UTM Party so that we drum up support for Mwenifumbo whom we fought the battle together to dislodge DPP.”
CFT is an offspring of a political struggle in Malawi.
The founder and leader of the CFT Timothy Mtambo was leading the Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC), a non-Governmental organization that has been central to the fighting for the political justice in the country.