Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has revealed that there is resistance against his reformist agenda to shade off the bad image of the party amid a growing push for a convention he believes is designed to stop the changes going on in the party.
MCP, the country’s oldest party, has always been labelled as a party of darkness because of late Dr Kamuzu Banda’s autocratic rule which
witnessed many flee the country for fear of being killed or detained.
Banda ruled with an iron fist until his death in 1997.
“We have to change this bad image and rebrand into a party that is in sync with the aspirations of the people but unfortunately others within the party are against this change, they still want to and accuse me of being against the older folks in the party,” he said in
an exclusive interview.
“I am not against the older folks in the party but am against the old system that binds people into doing things differently…but others within the party are saying that we don’t like Chawera’s changing of the party… they would rather stay the same as it has always been,” said Chakwera, whose election to take over from John Tembo symbolized
a new democratic MCP.
But the emergence of a faction whose face is in the form of secretary general Gustav Kaliwo has put in the spotlight the divisions in the
party and wants a convention validate Chakwera’s leadership.
The faction has also condemned as undemocratic the push for Sidick Mia
to be running mate for Chakwera arguing that the party already has Richard Msowoya as the party’s elected Vice President and therefore an
automatic running mate for the 2019 elections.
Early June, as per the party’s constitution, Kaliwo’s group published a list of delegates to the convention, which Chakwera described as
“Why would you want to have a convention now and take 2013 delegates? What do want to do when MCP unlike many other parties has been going to the regions and to the districts holding elections and then somebody says we don’t recognise those elections and take old folks who left the party or lost the election as delegates?,” wondered Chakwera.
An independent verification of the list of delegates published both in both the Nation newspaper and Daily Times revealed that some of the delegates already left the party like Chris Daza, some died, or lost grass elections while new MPs and the party’s Mayor of Lilongwe, his councillors were conspicuously missing on the list.
“Even the Mayor of the city of Lilongwe would not even be a delegate to the convention when our constitution says the Mayor and his
councillors should be delegates… Do you see any sense in this?” he asked.
Since the MCP lost the elections in the popular multiparty elections in 1994, the party has always come second in the subsequent elections and still remains the country’s main opposition in parliament.
A latest survey by the respected Afrobarometer revealed last month that the party would likely win if elections were held now.
This revelation, many believe, has heightened the infighting within the party.
Afroboarometer, a non-partisan research network, also predicted that Peter Mutharika’s DPP would win the 2014 elections. DPP won dethroning Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party which took over via a constitutional order when President Bingu wa Mutharika died suddenly in office.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :