Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarous Chakwera has responded to a hard hitting nine paged letter from his party’s secretary general Gustav Kaliwo in two pages, simple and cutting.
In his reply, Chakwera started by noting that Kaliwo’s letter was “unheaded”.
Chakwera said he read the contents of Kaliwo’s letter “with keen interest.”
He wrote: “As you are aware all the issues you are raising and asking me to act upon are live in courts. As such I Have been advised that commenting on issues that are not concluded in court is sub judice and prejudicial to the administration of justice.”
Kaliwo is a practising lawyer and should have known better of the sub judice law.
Chakwera told Kaliwo that he is “constrained” to respond or act on the issue raised by the secretary general “before the court process is over to allow the rule of law to prevail.”
The MCP leader also expressed surprise that Kaliwo did not table his “observations” in any of the party’s management and politburo meetings.
“It is my hope that you will present them in the next meeting after the courts have concluded the case,” said Chakwera.
But in his letter Kaliwo complained that he was intimidated by Chakwera’s personal handler Ishmael Phakamisa before the MCP executive meeting, saying it was rude and demeaning hence he absconded.
He said Chakwera was either a coward or a victim of a hostage situation on the day he failed to meet Kaliwo.
“ As Secretary General and a secretary to the meeting, I have as a matter of normal practice consulted you as Chair of the meeting on how the meeting should be conducted. This is the reason that I intended to come and see you, just before going to the NEC meeting.
“On all previous occasions I have had access to you without let or hindrance. Sadly on this day your security person Phakamisa who was in the company of about four MCP youth, told me that I was not allowed to come into your office and see you. He told me to leave my office and go straight to the NEC meeting. From the way he spoke to me, it was abundantly clear that he was under instructions to do so. I was pleasantly surprised because at the time Phakamisa was confronting me Hon. Kamata was just coming out of your secretary’s office. I found Phakamisa’s conduct to be not only rude but demeaning as well. I therefore decided there and then to just leave the premises as I was not sure on what basis the decision that I should not see you was made,” reads Kaliwo’s letter.
He continued: “ Think about this any way you can, the reason for my being barred from seeing you was not security related. I was not armed in any way and if anyone thought that, after all the sacrifices I have made for you personally and the party in general, I was a security threat, I could have been searched.
“Before I left, I talked to Hon Shela and Hon. Lombola and explained to them why I was leaving. I asked both of them to inform you should you ask about my whereabouts. On this, Mr. President, there are a number of scenarios that I was toying with. If the security person was overzealous and acted without instructions from you, then you were being held hostage or had no control over who had access to your office. If you gave the instructions that I should not see you, then that was cowardly.”
Kaliwo pointed out that there is a legal and political solution to the court issues that are currently being pursued by the party.
“The legal route is being pursued vigorously but the political route is being neglected,” he said.
Kaliwo tells Chakwera that the current situation in MCP “may appear desperate and indeed to some beyond rescue” but expressed confidence that if the party president “do the right thing we can come out of the present situation stronger.”
He proposes that Chakwera should take immediate steps to correct the situation by urgently calling for a NEC meeting comprising of members that held positions prior to 27 August 2015 to ratify the expansion and filling in of positions as stated in his communiqué of 27 August 2015.
Kaliwo also asks Chakwera to reverse or call for a properly constituted NEC to reverse the illegal dismissals and suspensions from the party
He also asked the party president to create a neutral forum for identifying and prioritising issues currently facing the party to which party members with perceived dissenting views will be invited.
The MCP secretary general also supports the call for a convention.
“As we in the MCP continue in our internal squabbles and power jostling the plight of Malawians continues be desperate. The security, food, education, utilities and economic well being of Malawians have deteriorated to such levels that citizens out there are surprised that we in the MCP can find time to concentrate on anything else other than these pertinent issues,” noted Kaliwo.
He strongly believes that MCP can “salvage the situation,” if the party work together, put Malawi and the party above personal ambitions, foster unity, bite the bullet and do the right thing that puts the MCP in the positive light and renews the trust of Malawians that it can be trusted with governing this country in their best interest.
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