It’s battle of the ‘beasts of prey’ as a senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official says President Peter Mutharika is working behind the scenes to request the DPP director of operations Ben Phiri to withdraw his party vice presidency candidature as this threatens the position of top financier and groomed successor George Chaponda.
The source said the youthful Phiri is making intensive and gallant political manroevers to wrestle the vice presidency from Chaponda.
“This is a cause of great worry to the president, he does not want Chaponda to lose his position. Even Charles Mchacha (Southern Region Governor) hinted on this indirectly at one of the political rallies,” said our source.
Cash-rich former minister Chaponda has reportedly given the party K100 million for campaign.
While Phiri, who is now one of the top richest Malawian, has contributed a fortune to the party including buying vehicles for campaign.
The source said the party is equally concerned that the secretary general position might slip to a wrong position.
DPP administratrive secretary Francis Mphepo has also asked) Secretary General, Grezelder Jeffrey wa Jeffrey to step aside to allow former DPP secretary general and Speaker of National Assembly, Chimunthu Banda win the post.
However, Jeffrey said she is ready to compete on the position in order to continue serving the party ahead of May 2019 Tripartite elections.
“I am going to contest on my position as secretary general , its within my rights,” she said.
Mphepo has also reportedly told former DPP administrative secretary, Clement Mwale, to pave way for Chimunthu Banda.
DPP deputy secretary general Zeria Chakale dismissed the reports, saying the date and venue for the DPP indaba would be fixed once the convention committee has been appointed.
The set convention will be the third this year after that of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) which were marred by conflicts. The United Democratic Party (UDF) and the People’s Party (PP) are yet to announce dates for their conventions.