People’s Party (PP) provincial governor for the north Rev Christsopher Mzomera Ngwira is sticking to his guns that former State and party vice-president Khumbo Kachali is the party’s interim leader , saying the party is lacking leadership in the absence of party president Joyce Banda who is currently abroad.
Banda has been outside Malawi for close to a year now since she left State House after the May 2014 elections.
Mzomera has justified his declarations to make Kachali the interim leader of PP.
“When Joyce Banda went away she left us in suspense; we didn’t know which direction to take as a party,” said Mzomera in an interview published by Weekend Nation.
He said PP were told that Banda had gone to attend a few functions on her departure from Malawi and they didn’t expect her to stay away for so long.
“Now, the type of leadership she left behind was a bit tricky in the sense that all the regional vice-presidents were at par in terms of power and authority. This caused some kind of a power struggle such that we were even failing to hold rallies. It proved too difficult for one vice-president to conduct a rally in another region. Meanwhile, I saw that the only missing link was Kachali because he has all the attributes of a leader,” said Mzomera.
He said Kachali is strategic to “ably take over the mantle of leadership because he and Banda started this party together.”
Mzomera touts Kachali as person to strengthen and revamp PP.
“ We want to bring back sanity to the PP so that when Banda returns she should find a strong party because as it is, she can’t even dare to come to Malawi with the party in tatters,” said Mzomera.
He claimed PP recently convened an National Governing Council meeting in Lilongwe they discussed the issue of an interim leader to run the party, saying the discussions were “unsuccessful” as they could not agree.
PP secretary general Ibrahim Matola said Kachali has been welcomed back as a vice president not as a replacement to Joyce Banda.
Kachali himself has also said he is not the leader as Banda remains PP president.
The former vice president endorsed President Peter Mutharika during the 2014 general elections when Banda dumped him for Sosten Gwengwe – who has also resigned from PP to rejoin Malawi Congress Party.
According to Mzomera, the support Kachali gave to Mutharika was “out of anger and frustration” following his being left out as presidential running-mate.
He said by leaving out Kachali, PP “ lost the plot”.
Mzomera said he went to meet Banda abroad and told her in the face that the only way to revive PP is “to bring back Kachali and Sidik Mia”, saying the two are “ pillars of the party”.
Mia has said he is currently farming and out of front line politics.
Asked if the PP constitution give provincial governors the mandate to announce or unveil a party leader, Mzomera said: “I am a leader of the people. If someone can appoint party leaders from outside the country by remote control, what do you expect from someone like me who lives with the people? My ears are always on the ground and I listen to what they say and I believe what I did is in their best interests.”
Mzomera also dismissed assertions that he is a confusionist.
“ Let those who claim that I am sowing seeds of confusion tell me the exact date Banda will return. I can’t be bought by anyone because I eat my own money. The problem in most parties is that leaders don’t like telling their people the truth when things go wrong.
“ Let Banda tell us when she is coming because we can’t allow her to run PP with a remote control while seated on a chair somewhere. I don’t have any personal grudges with her, but it’s her style of leadership that I am uncomfortable with,” he said.
According to PP secretary general, the party’s constitution stipulates that the president shall hold office for a period of five years.
Joyce Banda’s mandate runs up to 2017 when her position shall be up for grabs, Matola explained.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :