Malawi ruling PP disowns one-party state remarks: Chibwana says no apologies

Malawi’s ruling People’s Party – fending off attacks for  the party’s secretary general Henry Chibwana  remarks that Malawi would be better off going back to a one-party State – have  said the statement did not reflect the party’s position.

As reported by Nyasa Times on Tuesday, Chibwana made the remarks in the capital, Lilongwe when he addressed PP supporters during a ceremony to welcome two Members of Parliament Fredrick Kamwangala (Lilongwe North West) and Agnes Penemulungu (Lilongwe City South East) who have joined PP.

Chibwana claimed the PP has achieved a lot by bringing back donors, improved tobacco prices, an end to the shortage of fuel and foreign currency, the Safe Motherhood Initiative and the Presidential Initiative on Poverty Reduction and Hunger.

He said the country can be better off with one-party state, saying “it is possible that the whole Malawi can turn into orange.”

Makande: The remarks

Makande:  JB administration never commits to  Chibwana remarks on one-party State

The remarks attracted a barrage of criticism from pro-democracy activists and political parties.

But PP spokesman Hophmally Makande and his deputy Ken Msonda went flat out on Tuesday disowning the remarks as “personal opinion of Chibwana.”

“The statement, if it was made, is not the position of PP at all,” said Makande.

Makande said the Joyce Banda administration “never commits to such remarks.”

He said “it has never occurred in the mind of [President] Joyce Banda and the party leadership that this country can revert back to one party system of government.”

Makande said President Banda is “a champion of democracy in Malawi, she is one of the people who fought hard alongside other Malawians for this country to attain multiparty democracy.”

Adding his voice, Msonda said Chibwana was “simply expressing his personal opinion and views.”

Said Msonda: “Besides being our Secretary General, he is a citizen of this country entitled to freedom of opinion and expression as enshrined in our Republican Constitution.

“His statement is not an official communication from the party and its leadership but as said; personal opinion.”

Meanwhile, Chibwana said he had no apologies to make on the remarks.

He told Matindi FM, a closely-held private broadcaster that “Malawi will soon be a one-party State with PP being in power and turning the country orange.”

Chibwana said this will be possible because of the “visionary and dynamic leadership of President Joyce Banda.”

Political observers noted that Chibwana’s statement may be right judging from political prostitution by leaders who keep defecting to ruling parties due to greed.

Malawi adopted the multiparty system of government after 63 percent of Malawians voted yes in the 1993 referendum. This ended 31 years of MCP dictatorial rule that that saw massive human rights abuses that included mysterious deaths of three Cabinet ministers and one MP in 1983.

Other opponents of founding president the late Kamuzu Banda were forced into exile for opposing his dictatorship.

Chibwana has not been short of controversy when he takes to the political podium. During the President’s rally in Mangochi recently, also made a statement calling on the Inspector General of Police to arrest all politicians who will be found using a convoy.

The call was later followed by the detention of DPP interim president Peter Mutharika in Ntchisi on accusation that he was using an overhead flashlight on one of his security vehicles.

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