300 UDF, DPP members join Veep’s party in Zomba

At least 300 members of UDF and others from ruling DPP  joined the People’s Party (PP) of State Vice President Joyce Banda in the old capital Zomba on Saturday, days after influential Northern Region politician Harry Mkandawire and UDF Deputy
Publicity Secretary Ken Msonda announced their defection to PP.

Two senior district official of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (D Constituency in Zomba, the members said they were convinced Joyce Banda was a true leader that Malawi requires if PP) of President Bingu wa Mutharika  led the
defections  to PP.

At a political rally addressed by Banda, the founding leader of PP, at Sakata Ground in Nsondolethe citizens were to
witness genuine social, economic and political transformation in the near future.

People’s Party

Malawi is currently going through social under social, political and political turmoil under the Mutharika administration, with adverse lack of fuel and foreign exchange, among other tribulations.

Speaking at the rally, where throngs of people braved a downpour, the first woman Vice President in Malawi said she was ready to be arrested by the Mutharika regime for mentioning out the various problems rocking the country, arguing it was her constitutional obligation to highlight the same.

“As a Vice President of the nation, I could have chosen to lend a blind eye and ear to the unprecedented problems facing the nation and stay put at my official Mudi Residence; but I said, wait a minute; the people of Malawi employed me to look after them; they are my employers. Should I really stay quiet?” I will not do that because I took an oath in 2009 to respect and preserve the Constitution of Malawi, which, among other things, prescribe the provision of basic rights and necessities for the citizens,” said Banda.

Banda announced at the rally that the People’s Party will soon embark on a consultative process with the people of Malawi to ascertain how best the future PP government would eradicate abject poverty among the people. She said the process had been dubbed “Timve Kwa Inu” (let’s listen form you).

“The People’s Party and I are truly convinced that given the necessary empowerment, the people of Malawi would come out of poverty and live a relatively decent life; most of the people in national leadership today have spent a better of their lives abroad and cannot therefore appreciate the socio-economic problems that the people suffer; I urge Malawians that come 2014, they should put us in power because we have the solutions to the current problems,” she said.

Banda called on the chiefs, including traditional chief Kuntumanji of the area, to resist any government’s attempt to abuse them into castigating opposition figures, including her, saying as traditional leaders, they had a very noble responsibility to voice out government’s shortcomings to ensure people’s comfortable livelihood.

“They should not invite you to rant on the television for small cash handouts; you have an integrity to preserve,” Banda said, urging Malawians to respect traditional leaders as custodians of culture and tradition.

Banda said the DPP government had failed people on its policy to provide subsidized fertilizers, saying the programme had been characterized by rampant abuse and corruption where smallholder farmers had to bribe their way to access the fertilizer.

“Instead of buying the fertilizer at the set price of K500, people end up paying K3, 500 or more as the officers are into fraud and corruption,” she alleged.

PP provincial governor for the Eastern Region, Samson Msosa reprimanded DPP officials for coming into the area and threatening people against supporting the Vice President.

Other senior officials that attended the rally included PP Director of Religious Affairs, Reverend Malani Mtonga, Secretary General Henry Chibwana, Treasurer General Brown James Mpinganjira, Organizing Secretary (master of ceremonies) Salim Bagus, Director of Legal Affairs Paul Maulidi, Reverend Emmanuel Chimkwita-Phiri, Deputy National Director of Women Ettinor Koloviko and Director of Youth (South) Lemani Chapitapansi, among others.

Vice President Banda was expelled from the DPP in December 2010 for “forming parallel structures” but many observers believe she met her fate for not endorsing the President’s brother, Professor Peter Mutharika as the ‘heir apparent’ to the President in 2014.

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