DPP in dark over Kachali, PP claims VP still member

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it is not aware of Vice-president Khumbo Kachali’s interest to come back into its fold after cutting ties with President Joyce Banda and her ruling People’s Party (PP).

Kachali on Wednesday informed President Joyce Banda of his decision to resign from the party National Executive Committee (NEC) with DPP as his settled destination after being rebuffed by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) whose leader Lazarous Chakwera has taken a strong stand against “recycled politicians.”

DPP Publicity Secretary, Nicholas Dausi and his junior, Bon Kalindo said Kachali has not officially communicated with the party of his interest tore join in.

The two, however, refused to comment if Kachali, who is also PP vice-president for the northern region, will be welcomed back almost four years after he was expelled together with President Banda.

Malawi veep Khumbo Kachali :  Mist over his next political move
Malawi veep Khumbo Kachali : Mist over his next political move

But in separate interviews, some top officials in the party have demanded Kachali to go public and declare his interest.

“Let him go public about his interest, if he is serious enough, otherwise we might be dealing with conjectures here,” said Dausi.

The officials however regard his interest as of no concern considering circumstance that led to his expelsuion although some are of opposing views on whether to welcome back the once ‘cursed’ son.

“We have to treat his case carefully. His sudden interest is of great concern. In one hand he can help, but we have also to think of the party’s reputation if we let him in,” warned one of the party’s executive members.

Another official regarded Kachali as a victim of circumstances, saying “Most of us know he wasn’t guilty, he was just a guy who happened to be implicated in crimes he did not commit”.

Banda and Kachali were expelled from DPP in December 2010 for allegedly forming parallel party structures, a charge they denied, saying they only opposed plans for Peter Mutharika to inherit leadership form his brother, late Bingu wa Mutharika.

Meanwhile, PP insists Kachali was still its member as he has not officially withdrawn his membership from the party despite that he verbally communicated to its leader.

“Honourable Khumbo Kachali has not officially written the party on his resignation,” explained PP spokesperson, Ken Msonda.

Msonda said the party was looking forward to receive Kachali’s resignation letter to find out which position he has resigned from.

“He has resigned as who; State Vice President, Party Vice President, NEC member, party member or our Parliamentary Candidate for Mzimba?

“In the absence of such important information we reserve our position regarding media reports that Khumbo Kachali has resigned,” added Msonda.

Msonda further said were expecting to receive his resignation letter as soon as possible if what the media reported is anything to go by.

But a political analyst Dr Henry Chingaipe has described the move by Kachali to quit PP as not surprising following his side-line in the ruling party since President Banda appointed trade minister Sosten Gwengwe as her running mate.

President Banda’s decision to leave out Kachali in preference for the youthful Sosten Gwengwe ahead of the May 20 presidential race sparked Kachali’s resentment against the President and the PP.

The VP has described his side-lining as “vote of no confidence” but the President said Kachali was only picked to finish with her former President, the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s term.

Kachali has chosen to stay away from the limelight and has notably been absent from most presidential public functions except for those held in his Mzimba district.

Kachali’s resignation follows that of Cassim Chilumpha and Mohammad Sidik Mia who were PP vice-presidents responsible for the Central and Southern regions respectively.

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