Joyce Banda dates PP committees, calls for responsible ‘opposition’

Founder and president of the People’s Party (PP), Joyce Banda, on Thursday met members of her party’s district and regional committees from Southern Region in Blantyre, encouraging them not to exist merely as symbolic organs of the party but rather aiming higher in the PP rebuilding process.

Mpinganjira and Joyce Banda: PP in opposition

Mpinganjira and Joyce Banda: PP will rebuild

Still cheering JB :  The PP members at the meeting

Still cheering JB : The PP members at the meeting

JB addressing the party officials

JB addressing the party officials

Banda, the immediate past Head of State, said that PP district and regional committees are crucial in the growth of the party as they directly relate with the grassroots.

She explained that as such, there has to be hard work, loyalty, love, respect and discipline among the members in these committees to win the trust and confidence of both rank and file members of the PP and ordinary people.

“We must ensure collective leadership and prevent any individual from monopolizing the conduct of affairs of the PP. Solutions to pressing problems must be decided not by Joyce Banda or any one individual but all of us as leaders of the PP through the various committees,” said JB, as she is fondly referred to by her adorers.

Banda then encouraged the leaders to “wake up to the reality” that PP is no longer in government owing to the elections results that went the other way.

She said it was encouraging that even after “the elections were not conducted fairly”, the PP, as a family, has remained intact.

“Now that we’re in opposition, let’s give space to and support those that are in government now. We must take our rightful place, which is being a mature and responsible opposition party; not opposing for the sake of opposing.

“Most importantly, our overriding preoccupation must be to grow the party so that the PP returns into government in future; the PP can do it,” she said, amid handclapping and ululation.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Banda said she remains a leader of the PP and that she had called for the meeting to demonstrate that “there is no leadership vacuum in PP”.

“As you are aware, I was elected as the party President at a National Convention a few years ago. It is these people through a similar forum who will say ‘we do not want Joyce Banda anymore’ and I will leave a happy person.

“For now, I lead this party,” said Banda, indicating she hopes she would call for a similar meeting in eastern, northern and central regions “to thank members” for remaining steadfast despite “the highly disappointing the elections”.

Other notable high-ranking PP leaders present at the meeting included Vice President of the party, Brown Mpinganjira, Isaac Nyakamera who is Provincial Governor for South, Secretary General Paul Maulidi and his deputy, Irene Chikuni.

During the meeting, regional and all district leaders from the South presented reports of the ‘state-of-affairs’ in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

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