Following the May 21, 2019 tripartite elections, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its presidential candidate, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika secured another five-year term and it is now time for the party to regroup and strongly forge ahead, the party’s Vice President for Southern Region, Kondwani Nankhumwa has said.
Nankhumwa was addressing a DPP ‘Southern Region’ conference held at the party’s regional headquarters in Blantyre on Monday, July 8, 2019. The meeting was attended by cabinet ministers, MPs, NGC members, regional, district and constituency governors at all levels, all drawn from the region, its political bedrock.
“Since the elections were held on May 21, we’ve not met as a region; we thought it was imperative to have this postmortem session and see how best we should move into the future, as a party.
“A lot has happened in between including the opposition parties going to court to challenge our victory and some CSOs organizing demonstrations against our victory. As leaders, we found it necessary that we meet and encourage each other to remain resolute as a family and continue to rally behind the party and His Excellency the President in the face of these challenges,” Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, said.
He said the party wanted to encourage all leaders to go to their grassroots structures and inform the membership that the party should not be derailed by ongoing court disputes and demonstrations as these challenges were anticipated.
“It is not the first time that losers have conducted themselves in this manner every time we have elections; it has become a norm. So, what we did today is to re-energize the party and call on leaders not to take their eyes off the DPP’s social and economic agenda,” said Nankhumwa, adding that leaders at the meeting committed themselves to fostering unity of purpose among themselves without regard positions in the party.
The VP (South), who is also Leader of Government Business in Parliament and MP for Mulanje Central, condemned acts of violence and vandalism that had accompanied recent demonstrations, saying it is extremely regrettable that innocent people, institutions and government lost property worth millions of Kwacha.
“It is my expectation and that of the party that should there be more demonstrations in the future, our law enforcing agents shall ensure that they act within the law to prevent loss of life and property,” said Nankhumwa.
Other speakers at the conference included DPP Secretary General, Gerselder Jeffrey, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and DPP director of elections Ben Phiri, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Mary Navicha, Regional Governor Charles Mchacha, among others.
In his remarks, Phiri said President Mutharika and DPP won the May 21 elections “fair and square” hence government is now in place and running.
According to Mchacha, the party has organized victory parades in selected parts of the region.
It was also announced at the meeting that DPP will hold a ‘mother of all rallies’ at Nyambadwe School Ground in Ndirande, Blantyre, on Sunday, July 14, 2019.