Some political scientists in Malawi are backing Peoples Party (PP) ‘political rebel’ Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira whose defiant calls for Joyce Banda to step down following her prolonged stay abroad has greatly divided the party on regional lines.
The vibrant party governor for the north, who has since been reinstated after he was fired, caused another storm in the former ruling party over the weekend when he said he would deal with anyone who opposed his move to have former vice president Khumbo Kachale replace Banda as leader of the now troubled party.
This prompted party sympathisers of Banda to meet on Monday to strategise the way forward as Ngwira seems to be unrepentant and has become more vocal in his calls to have Banda step down as leader.
Joseph Chunga of Chancellor College said Ngwira was right to call for the immediate resignation of Banda.
“Ngwira has a good point but the process or procedure he is using is flawed. Some people fear he wants to turn the party into a regional party,” said Chunga.
He said the party should appoint a leader who should be as effective as Banda herself when it comes to party organisation.
“I agree with Mr Ngwira, the absence of their leader has left the party without direction,” he said.
Another political scientist Joseph Maere from Blantyre International University College said Ngwira’s calls should not be completely ignored by the party.
Maere, however, said the party constitution should be followed to the latter when choosing a successor to Banda.
He said the 2014 general election showed that PP has large following in the north therefore the party needs to consider that as well.
Kachale has not commented openly on the matter neither has he condemned Ngwira, an indication that Ngwira‘s actions has his full blessings.
Banda has blamed the government for her one year long stay in self imposed exile, saying they need to provide a residence, reinstate her security detail and give her monthly pension.
But minister of Information Jappie Mhango said the government is waiting for her return so that she could identify a residence of her choice as she had been turning down residences through her husband and sister, saying one house the government had already paid out a one year rental fee.
On security detail, Mhango said the government has given her seven police officers as provided for in the Republican Constitution.
Mhango said the government already gave Banda a K30million gratuity as retired head of state and vice president respectively but the government is waiting for her to fill and sign government forms to affect the monthly pension.
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