Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Friday cancelled a disciplinary hearing of its vice-president (South) and Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani which was scheduled to take place at the Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe after number of members of Parliament and other party followers held demonstrations in solidarity with Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa, who is also Mulanje Central legislator, was summoned for a disciplinary hearing by the party for alleged breach of party protocols.
Notable members of Parliament who assembled at Golden Peacock Hotel to sing in protests included vociferous MP for Mulanje Bale Victor Musowa, Blantyre City South East Constituency Sameer Suleman Sameer Suleman and Mwanza West MP Joyce Chitsulo.
“We are against moves to make Nankhumwa not breath politically. The party should take away the knee on his political life,” said Musowa.
Suleman said DPP legislators were in solidarity with their leader in parliament will side with him.
One of the chanting DPP supporters accused party “political fossils” like Francis Mphepo the administrative secretary and Brown Mpinganjira of misleading its outgoing president Peter Mutharika.
According to a letter dated September 10 2020, signed by DPP disciplinary committee secretary Charles Mhango and addressed to Nankhumwa, the party has summoned the Leader of Opposition in Parliament following a complaint raised by the party’s deputy secretary general.
Nankhumwa is charged with four counts of disciplinary breaches which include an offence of undermining DPP president Peter Mutharika and allegedly imposing himself on the position of Leader of Opposition when Mutharika had appointed Mulanje South West legislator George Chaponda, with Nankhumwa as the party’s chief whip.
The party is also accusing Nankhumwa of conspiracy to mislead Mutharika when he together with the party’s secretary general (Grezelder Jeffrey) lied to Mutharika MPs would revolt if his position is to be reversed.
And on the third count, Nankhumwa is accused of failing to resolve and respond to queries about his education background while the fourth count pertains to his alleged meeting with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) officials between August 1 and September 4 at former official hostess Cecilia Kadzamira’s residence.
Governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that there is lack of sincerity in the alleged disciplinary offences against Nankhumwa as raised by the party.
Said Munthali: “If DPP was indeed sincere, they would have raised the issue of Nankhumwa’s academic qualifications for example a long time ago when the issue was all over social media. However, they retained him and gave him even more challenging positions in the party as well as in Cabinet. One then wonders have DPP realized now that the alleged Nankhumwa qualification is an issue now?”
Munthali said the charge against Nankhumwa imposing himself as a leader of opposition and allegedly leading a revolt against Mutharika “lacks merit and reflects badly on DPP as a party which brags of embracing democratic values.”
He noted that party MPs in exercising of their democratic right preferred Nankhumwa to Mutharika’s imposed Chaponda as a leader of Opposition.
“It’s important that MPs should have a leader in Parliament whom they have trust, respect and confidence in. Any attempt to impose leaders should be discouraged and condemned in strongest terms,” said Munthali.
He also said the protests that MPs did in Parliament against Mutharika’s attempt to impose a leader that they didn’t want and instead support Nankhumwa was another democratic decision that must be commended.
“In summary, this disciplinary action has nothing to do with all those changes. Those charges may just be mere scapegoat. The issue here is about succession wrangle in DPP.
“Certainly, Nankhumwa may no longer be Mutharika’s and DPP inner circle favourite to succeed Mutharika, and this camp would definitely use everything to fight and finish him politically. However, DPP is wasting it’s time with these internal succession wrangles and by the time they will realize it will be too late,” he said.
DPP lost in the June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election to the nine-party Tonse Alliance led by MCP president Lazarus Chakwera who partnered Mutharika’s then estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima of UTM Party on the presidential ticket.
Peter Mutharika took over the leadership of DPP after the death of his brother, Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012, propelling the party to victory in the 2014 Tripartite Elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :