Former Malawi President Peter Mutharika since his dubious defeat engineered by the Malawi judiciary and a coalition of parties in Malawi dubbed “Tonse Alliance”, has struggled to keep unity in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). His wishes and directives appear to no longer carry weight with the Kondwani Nankhumwa wing of the party.
Making matters worse the Malawi Congress Party and its leadership in Parliament has chosen sides and have ignored his wishes to have Kondwani Nankhumwa removed from his position as leader of the opposition, not once but now three times.
Just last week it was reported that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ‘s Central Committee had expelled the party’s Southern Region vice-president Kondwani Nankhumwa, Secretary- General Greselder Jeffrey, Treasurer General Jappie Mhango and Mulanje West lawmaker Yusuf Nthenda from the party for what the committee called gross misconduct.
The committee met at party president Peter Mutharika’s retirement home in Mangochi where it made the decision.
A member of the Central Committee, Samuel Tembenu, said Nankhumwa has been fired because he imposed himself as Leader of Opposition in Parliament, among others, while Jeffrey has been fired for allegedly organizing the election at Parliament without the party’s blessings.
However, the Parliament ignored this directive. not surprising The High Court in Lilongwe granted an injunction to leader of opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General Grezelder Jeffrey, treasurer general Jappie Mhango and Mulanje West legislator Yusuf Nthenda, stopping the DPP from expelling them from the party and their positions.
The lawyer for the four, Gilbert Khonyongwa has confirmed that the four sought an injunction because they feel their firing was unprocedural and that it violates his clients’ right to freedom of opinion, The four can also use the party emblems or convene any meeting in the name of the party.
The injunction also stops the DPP from proceeding with the election of a Leader of Opposition. University of Livingstonia political scientist George Phiri warned that DPP was headed for disaster if the leadership does not properly look into the issues.
It Is against this background that Former Malawi President Peter Mutharika spoke to the members of the party who are still listening to him earlier this week, saying Moving forward as Party, I would like to make the following announcements:
1. I am pledging my full support to you as your President, of the DPP and will do everything in my power to ensure that you discharge your duties properly in the August House.
2. As you discharge those duties, you must always remember that you are a Government in waiting and that you owe your constituents in particular and Malawians in general, a duty to ensure that the current Government delivers on its promises to the people of Malawi.
3. The Central Committee has sanctioned a Functional Review of the Party structures and the Committee charged with that task is expected to submit its Report by the 31st October 2020.
4. The Report will then be tabled before the NGC for action on the recommendations.
5. After the NGC considers the Report, they will also set the timelines and date of the National Political Conference where the new leadership of the Party to take us into the next General Election will be elected.
6. I have directed the new Secretary General to put in place proper mechanisms in place to ensure that there is always constant coordination between the Party and yourselves. I believe that that interaction will enrich your contributions in Parliament by articulating alternative policies reflecting the DPP philosophy which we shall pursue once we go back into Government.
Hon Members, you will agree with me that all is a process and will take a bit of time to be concluded. It cannot be rushed simply because there are some among you who want to pursue a personal agenda that is detrimental to the Party. We will not allow that to happen.
According to our Constitution, between now and then, the Central Committee will be responsible for taking decisions on the day to day running of the Party. I urge you to respect the decisions made by this body.
In this respect, I must express my concern that all of you seated here, have allowed the Speaker of the National Assembly to disregard decisions made by the Central Committee and effectively communicated to her Office. As far as we are concerned as the DPP, the current Leader of the House is Hon Francis Kasaila, MP. Party discipline demands that you support him and recognize him as such.