DPP launches UK wing, dismisses rigging claims

Malawi governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has launched an external wing in United Kingdom with its national organising secretary Chimwemwe Mazabuka Chipungu and director of women Patricia Kaliati hailing the development as a step forward for the party.

Chipungu (seated left) with DPP UK wing leaders

Chipungu (seated left) with DPP UK wing leaders

Set of photo opportunity: Kaliati with DPP members

Set of photo opportunity: Kaliati with DPP members

Dancing time: Kaliati joined by Nyasa Times editorial director Thom Chiumia on dance floor

Dancing time: Kaliati joined by Nyasa Times editorial director Thom Chiumia on dance floor

The DPP UK Wing was launched at Mercury Grand Hotel in Leicester on Saturday night in a dinner function attended by a sizeable crowd that contributed £35 each.

In his speech during the launch, guest of honour Chipungu said the DPP has accepted and approved the UK group as an external branch of the party.

“This will be part of our party structure,” said youthful Chipungu who is also head of Safe motherhood Initiative.

Chipungu during his speech dismissed the opposition who have been bragging that  DPP was involved in a scheme to rig polls in favour of President Peter Mutharika.

“You have heard sensational accusations  that DPP rigged the elections.  That is senseless. DPP won the polls fair and square,” said Chipungu.

He said Mutharika and the party members campaigned vigorously “under difficult circumstance” to reclaim victory.

“After winning the elections, DPP and its leaders are now focusing on implementing our electoral pledges as contained in the manifesto.

“We want to dedicate our energy in serving the people and hence the need for all to step forward and be part of the transformational leadership.”

In her speech earlier, Kaliati  who is also minister of gender, said DPP government will be engaging Malawians in diaspora to contribute positively in the development of the nation.

She called for unity amongst Malawians and advised those living in UK to desist from gossiping and backbiting.

“We belong to one nation Malawi, lets love one another,” said Kaliati who was  a darling of the audience.

She said the DPP UK wing should be a catalyst for helping the party in Malawi and also contribute to eradicating poverty.

“The DPP UK wing should not be used as a cashgate forum. We do not want to soil our reputation,” she said in apparent reference to former ruling People’s Party (PP) which had a wing in UK and were donating buses to Malawi, a move critics linked to the cashgate corruption scandal.

DPP UK wing chairperson, Lieutenant Colonel  Frank Mbela (retired) commended the founding members for the launch. The leaders include Duncan Zambezi, Ken Kumbukani, Rich Katiimba, George Salijeni, Ken Mjojo, and Marlene Chitedze.

He also commended well-wishers who contributed to the finance the event including   Dhiren Thakra of Limphasa Sugar Corporation Ltd, Edith Parker (nee Chikago)  Ahmed Dassu ( the Nyasa Times board chair) and  lawyer Sheriff Kaunde of Liberty Immigration law firm.

Malawi High Commissioner to London, Benard Sande, his deputy John Tembo Jnr and the High Commission staff attended the event which saw the poem and singing performance of  Janet and Faith-Rose, the daughters of Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Jane Ansah.

The patrons had an opportunity to dance with Kaliati becoming a centre of attraction as many wanted to dance with her as she was clad in the party regalia cracking jokes with the people.

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