Banda resigns from DPP, vacancy in legal desk

By Andrew Nyayah, NyasaTimes

A new line-up of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) national governing council clearly shows that the party has done away with its legal department which was headed by Henry Duncan Phoya (HDP) and deputised by Philip Banda.

Phoya, who was a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of parliament, was fired from the party, following disagreements with the party’s politburo on the infamous injunction law.

Banda resigned from DPP a day before the party‘re-organised’ its NGC citing 14 reasons which range from lack of intra-party democracy, the inability to hold national conferences and intolerance to opposition and Civil Society.

“Our relationship as a party with civil society is very unhealthy. It defeats my intellectual pride when we treat civil society as enemies of state yet they are the translators of public opinion and we need to develop cordial relationship in order to advance the developmental expectations of our country,” he explained.

Wakuda: Appealed to Banda to rescind his decision to resign

Newly appointed Secretary-General Wakuda Kamanga has since asked Banda to rescind his decision but he said unless the party address concerns he raised in a letter to President Bingu wa Mutharika “I am open for discussions”

Banda, who has been a member of the NGC, since 2009, has never been invited to its meetings says he wants to be free from the shackles of the party’s label.

“With their isolation for some of us with reasons best known to them and coupled with recent events in the country, I felt could no longer serve in both the party and NGC,” Banda told Nyasa Times in an interview.

He said DPP indulges in smear campaigns and character assassinations among its leaders which he said seem to permeate down to party cadres.

“My experience is that there is very little intra-party debate. The party has no constitution adopted by the convention. The continuation of interim leaders appointed and not elected does not augur well with democratic practices of modern political parties,” said Banda.

He said leadership appointed does not belong to the people but to the appointee ‘that is not recipe for democracy’

A few days ago a faith based group echoed Banda’s sentiments about lack of intra-party democracy, the inability to hold a national convention and the appointment and election of leaders.

Clergy Initiative for Integral Development (CIDE) observed that for the past 17 years since Malawi attained multiparty democracy it is only the DPP that has shown serious disregard for intra-party democracy.

CIDE says it was the only “major party” that has gone for years without a national convention to choose its top leaders except for one, which was meant to “endorse” President Mutharika as its presidential candidate in 2009.

All top party officials in the DPP are appointed.

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