DPP accuses ruling PP of poaching its members: ‘They are promised riches’

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has accused the ruling People’s Party (PP) of poaching its members by luring them with promises of riches.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, DPP vice president Dr Jean Kalirani said the governing party is recruiting DPP members with offers of positions in government and business opportunities.

“PP is poaching our members,” said Kalirani  flanked by publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi, treasurer general Dr. George Chaponda and director of women’s affairs Patricia Kaliati.

DPP vice president Dr Jean Kalilani: PP poaching DPP members

She said PP has no technocrats and wants to tap the expertise of DPP members to run government.

Kalirani said PP enticed the Mzimba North lawmaker Goodall Gondwe to dump DPP and that they will reward him with an influential position.

“Honourable Gondwe first met our interim president Peter Mutharika and explained that he was under pressure to serve government. After that, he met me face-to-face and told me that he was under a lot of pressure from donors and government to serve and help repair the economy,” said Kalirani.

She also said the poaching campaign has netted DPP secretary general Wakuda Kamanga who has since joined PP.

“They are poaching DPP members to help give PP direction. They have almost got the whole DPP key members,” she said referring to Zikhale Ng’oma, Frank Mwenefumbo, Mai Margret Chiponda and Sidik Mia among others.

On his part, Kamanga said he was not enticed to quit DPP.

“I did not defect. I did resign from DPP and took a decision to join PP without any enticement,” Kamanga said.

Tough talking Kalirani insisted PP leadership is “stubbornly” poaching DPP members, saying the move will suffocate the country’s democracy.

But PP deputy spokesman Ken Msonda said the party had no intentions of weakening the opposition in the country.

Msonda said “opposition has a bigger role to play in a democratic dispensation like what we have in our country” and that they would not kill it.

He said PP is equally worried that the defections are “a threat to multiparty democracy [and] if not checked and controlled, can take us back to a one-party State.”

However, Msonda told a local daily that the defectors are excising their constitutional right that guarantees freedom of association and that as a party strategising for 2014 general elections, the move would prop up PP’s numbers.

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