United Democratic Front (UDF) has said it will not resolve the misunderstanding with its former parliamentary leader Lucius Banda in the media but by using established systems in the party.
UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga in interviews on Joy TV and Times TV on Monday said that the party will engage its members at all levels to clarify issues following the movement of his party’s members of Parliament (MPs) to government side in the House.
The party’s former leader in Parliament Lucius Banda remained on the opposition side.
“Differences in opinion in a political organisation that has a huge membership are inevitable but what is more important is how the party resolves the matters using the established systems in the party,” said Ndanga.
“We will not resolve these matters in the media because doing do is contrary to party policy and also detrimental to our organisation,” said the UDF spokesman.
UDF president Atupele Muluzi, who is also Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, refused to be dragged into commenting on the matter when journalists pressed him on Friday at Parliament in Lilongwe.
He said Ndanga is“preparing a statement” and that UDF will be holding a new conference on the matter.
UDF parliamentarians’ movement to the government side in the House with its leader still on opposition benches has attracted a lot of comments within and outside the House.
Banda, who is Balaka North MP, wrote Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya earlier last week that he would maintain his seat on the opposition side while still maintaining his role as leader of UDF in the House.
The Balaka North MP said he would continue to support government as he had done before regardless of where he sits in Parliament.
Ndanga said the party will not resolve the matters in the media “because doing so is contrary to party policy and also detrimental to our organisation.”
He said the decision to relocate to government benches was made “after thorough consultations that included the leadership in parliament and that is why only one member has chosen to remain on the opposition bench.”
UDF has 11 MPs seated on the government side, which has increased DPP’s numerical strength in the 193-member National Assembly to 63, excluding Banda, Muluzi and Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Clement Chiwaya who are UDF but not affected by the move.
Following the relocation, UDF on Thursday woke up to the reality of its decision by discovering that it has no voice and identity in Parliament.
For example, UDF was not on the schedule of opposition political parties to respond to the State of the Nation Address which President Peter Mutharika delivered on Tuesday because 11 of its MPs are now sitting on the government side.-Additional reporting by Malawi News AgencyFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :