Chakwera snubs Kasambara: Malawi Justice Minister plays down issue

Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara and also de facto kingmaker in the Peoples Party (PP) government reportedly sought an appointment with Rev. Dr Lazarus Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential aspirant but he was turned down, Nyasa Times understands.

 Nyasa Times learnt Chakwera categorically turned down the request for the meeting whose agenda was unclear.

In a related development, also seeking an “agenda-less” appointment with the MCP hopeful, Nyasa Times has learnt, was the Speaker of Parliament, whose Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidacy dream was shattered by a drubbing he got at the hands of Prof Peter Mutharika at the recent opposition Democratic Progress Party (DPP) indaba.

When contacted through an e-mail, Kasambara played down the reports of wanting to meet Chakwera, saying he is not losing any sleep with his political journey.

Chakwera: Refuses to meet Kasambara
Chakwera: Refuses to meet Kasambara

Kasambara rebutted that he had sought an audience with Chakwera.

“I did not and have no intentions of meeting Dr Chakwera. Last week, I was very busy from Monday to Wednesday I was in Blantyre. Thursday and Friday I was busy with delegation from UAE,” said Kasambara.

He finished his rebuttal by cryptically saying: “For your information I would frankly not lose any sleep over my good pastor in so far as politics is concerned.

He added without elaborating: I know how the convention will work out.”

Chakwera, who recently stepped down as President of Malawi Assemblies of God Church to concentrate on his new vocation, is one of the eight party presidential candidates for MCP but considered as a front-runner by analysts.

Other candidates are Felix Jumbe – former President of the Farmers Union of Malawi; the recently retired Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo; Jodder Kanjere – an architect and former Administrative Secretary of the MCP in the twilight of Kamuzu era; former central region chairman Bester Majoni; Lyghton Dzombe; the current party secretary general, Dr Chris Daza.

Chakwera is said to be winning hearts of MCP members for his style of civilized issue based campaign, leadership credentials and the respect he has for the founding president, the late Ngwazi Dr H Kamuzu Banda, the party president  John . Tembo and the entire party leadership.

Commentators also believe that Chakwera is better placed to take over MCP as it rebrands because he is principled, well known and easier to sell to the electorate than the other MCP aspirants.

The clergy in Malawi has also widely endorsed his accepting the challenges of his new vocation, and wishes him well.

By the time this story was  being posted , the Speaker of Parliament was yet to respond to emailed questions on his seeking a meeting with Chakwera.

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