Scandal-riddled former Cabinet minister George Chaponda has engaged another gear in pursuit of his presidential ambitions when he invited all Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) district governors from the southern region to his Oasis Lodge in Limbe, Blantyre on Saturday, June 9, 2018 to lobby them to support his political agenda, Nyasa Times understands.
According to one of the governors who attended the meeting, Chaponda told them that that he has made a pact with President Peter Mutharika to be his running-mate in next year’s tripartite elections.
Chaponda told the district governors that their agreement with President Mutharika is that after winning the elections next year, Mutharika will only serve as President for 12 months and would resign, paving way for Chaponda who by that time would be serving as the vice president of this country.
“Chaponda informed us that as president-in-waiting, he wanted all important positions in the DPP’s NGC to be occupied by his supporters. He, therefore, wanted the district governors to vote for only those people that are sympathetic to him to various positions at the party’s forthcoming elective convention.
“He promised the governors considerable sums of money when the mission is accomplished,” claimed the governor, preferring anonymity for obvious reasons.
Among the positions that Chaponda wants to be occupied by his friends is that of Treasurer General (TG) and he instructed the governors to replace the incumbent Henry Mussa who he said he does not trust.
Mussa, a loyalists of President Mutharika, is reported to have been infuriated by Chaponda’s scheming when he learnt of the plot through some district governors from Chiradzulu who also attended the meeting.
“Honourable Mussa called Dr. Chaponda and told him that he is the least individual he expected to be plotting against for his downfall at the forthcoming convention. He reminded Dr Chaponda that it was his testimony, which rescued him from conviction in his maizegate trial,” said the source.
DPP southern region governor, Charles Mchacha is also said not to have been amused by Chaponda’s meeting with the governors.
Mchacha also confronted Chaponda and wanted to know the reasons for holding such a meeting without his knowledge as governor for the region.
Chaponda defended his action saying he conducted the meeting as vice president for the party in the region, and was therefore at liberty to hold such meetings, according to the source.
He is also Mulanje South West legislator.
But Lilongwe-based political commentator, Mwiza Kayange observed that Chaponda has become the epicentre of the problems that fraught the DPP under Peter Mutharika’s leadership.
“If Chaponda thinks he is popular and that he is presidential material, the convention is the best place to determine and vouch his claims. That is where he must show his popularity by renewing his mandate,” said Kayange, adding that Chaponda is wrong to take advantage of his friendship or proximity to Mutharika to poison the president’s mind, and take the DPP down an undemocratic path.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :