In a show of political cowardice Malawi’s ruling DPP top brass have avoided a question on whether it is ready to fire the 41-plus MPs who are linked to the pressure group Hope Alliance.
Commentators have said it would be suicidal for the party to fire any on the 41 members of the Hope Alliance since such an action would give them a lee way to join any party of their choice without infringing on Section 65 of the Constitution which talks of MPs crossing the floor.
During a news conference in Lilongwe on Monday both second vice President of the party Yunus Mussa and director of women Patricia Kaliati could not directly answer a question inquiring on whether the party is ready to risk it and fire the rebel MPs.
“We don’t have time for cheap politics. There is no need for someone to fight a father why can’t they come up in the open and disclose who are their members. And we don’t have much time to answer whether we will fire them or not,” said Mussa.
He also said it was wrong for the Hope Alliance to fight its battles through the media instead of bringing their concerns out through the party structures.
On the other hand Kaliati said DPP was a mature political party and has no time to discuss the Hope Alliance.
She said: “These people have been cheating. Today they will say they are 10 members, tomorrow 15 and then the other day 41. They also cheat that they have been asking to see the president but during our meetings nobody has ever raised a hand to express any concern.
“These might be frustrated people or sick. Or we might make such claims that they are frustrated or sick while they are not. This why we are saying they have to come forward through the party leadership to express themselves.”
Mussa is also Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Mutharika’s administration while Kaliati is the Minister of Information and Civic Education as well as government spokesperson and were briefing journalists on their visit to Botswana where they attended a 50th anniversary celebration of that country’s ruling party, the BDP.
Since its formation the Hope Alliance, a pressure group formed to reform Malawi’s ruling party, has been a thorn within the DPP’s file and ranks with claims that its numbers are growing handsomely by the day.
The Alliance was started in Blantyre with 30 DPP MPs before moving to the central region where it claimed to have roped in 11 MPs from the ruling party. It is yet to go to the northern region where one of its members Blantyre City South MP Moses Kunkuyu says there is also “overwhelming” expectations and support.
Hope Alliance came into being “to bring hope to Malawians by ensuring that the [DPP] observes the rule of law, good governance, democracy and that Malawians are able to get basic needs.
This according to Kunkuyu was after noting that the party’s president Bingu wa Mutharika was “himself a problem” because “he does not listen to others.”
Other key members so far include Jeffrey Ntelemuka, MP for Blantyre City South East, Wells Gamah (Blantyre West) and Peter Nowa (Mulanje Pasani).
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