Some members of Parliament for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) want party vice-president (South) George Chaponda be restored as Leader of the House a position currently held by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Chaponda, former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development was removed from the position when he was answering corruption case in the Zambia maize imports saga.
The Mulanje South West member of Parliament (MP) was recently acquitted by the Zomba Magistrate Court.
But most MPs who spoke to Nyasa Times after endorsing President Peter Mutharika on his candidacy for the 2019 Tripartite Elections, said they would want Chaponda back as House leader.
“The DPP needs strong leadership in the House and the party. Dr Chaponda would best be suited to return as House leader,” said one MP.
An epic leadership battle has ensued within DPP with individuals strategically positioning themselves in readiness for the party’s national convention.
All national governing council (NGC) positions will be up for grabs, except that of party president, as party gurus including Chaponda have declared that President Mutharika will stay at the helm of the party, automatically winning the DPP presidential ticket for next year’s watershed polls.
Recently, Blantyre City East legislator and a member of the DPP national governing council (NGC) Noel Masangwi singled out Chaponda as being part of the DPP gurus manoeuvring internal squabbles in the party ahead of the May 2019 Tripartite Elections.
In his open letter issued last month, Masangwi claimed that Chaponda was part of a team of presidential advisers purportedly confusing Mutharika on the party’s political track to the polls.
Masangwi’s stance followed similar sentiments by former first lady Callista Mutharika, who earlier stunned the nation by declaring that Mutharika was being misled by those close to him which she branded them “beastsof prey.”
In his letter, Masangwi also urged Mutharika to call a national governing council (NGC) meeting as a matter of urgency where intraparty woes affecting the party can be resolved.
The party’s director of youth Louis Ngalande earlier disclosed that Mutharika has not called an NGC meeting since 2013, raising questions regarding how and who makes decisions, including appointments of some NGC members.
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