Members of ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have expressed concern that since the party held its convention, there has not been a National Governing Council (NGC) meeting but major decisions continue to be made by a few people running the party as a private entity.
The party members who spoke to Nyasa Times said DPP lack intra-party democracy and they demand NGC meetings to discuss party issues.
The party removed its elected secretary general Jean Kalilani and made some changes to its politburo by taking out elected office holders replacing them with those appointed, a development deemed as undemocratic and “raises the question of ownership of the party” who gave the positions to the officials with a vote at a convention.
DPP restructuring has seen several positions changing with party regional governor for the south, Charles Mchacha taking the position replacing Ben Chidyaonga who was elected at a convention.
Kalilani was removed as secretary general and replaced by Ecleim Julius Kudontoni.
The party also appointed veteran economist and diplomat Ted Kalebe as Vice President for the Centre replacing Dr Hetherwick Ntaba who was sent for diplomatic tour in UK but he rejected the posting and is still around, serving President Peter Mutharika as a special aide on domestic affairs.
Another DPP position of vice president was given to Dr George Chaponda (south).
Yunus Mussa who was DPP vice president for eastern region was removed on pretext that he was going to Egypt as ambassador but he remains in the country. Minister of Energy Bright Msaka was instead appointed to the position.
Francis Kasaila, the minister of foreign affairs, was appointed the party spokesman replacing verbose Nicholas Dausi, who is heading state spy agency.
DPP also appointed Richard Makonde as the new National Organizing Secretary taking over from Chimwemwe Chipungu who is now Safe Motherhood National Coordinator.
State Vice President Saulos Chilima was appointed into DPP National Governing Council as special advisor like Kalilani.
Kasaira says the party constitution allows the party executive committee to make such changes when need be.
“A convention cannot be done after every few months or year. Minor restructuring may be done by the party’s executive as it has the mandate,” said Kasaila
But DPP members said NGC has not been meeting since a convention was held.
And controversial Mulanje South Member of Parliament Bon Kalindo, who is also DPP deputy spokesman, has lended credence to the claims of lack of intra-party democracy in the Mutharika-led party, saying members “believe in pleasing the leader to paint a picture that things are are okay for their own benefits.”
He told a local paper: “A President cannot know the true story on the ground if not told by his MPs and Cabinet.”
But DPP has trashed Kalindo, describing him as ‘an attention seeker the party should not waste its energy on’.
Kalindo broke ranks with DPP after he led a ‘half-naked’ demonstration in Lilongwe recently for the cause of people with albinism, and the party reacted by chasing him from a rally President Peter Mutharika addressed in Mulanje on June 25.
Kalindo, a comedian and an actor popularly known as Winiko in the arts industry, said the issue of albino attacks is serious and “what is on the paper is not what is on the gorund.”
He said: “I can reveal that the story on the ground is that people now think DPP has a hand on these [attacks]; hence a soft hand on the issue.”
Kalindo has vowed not to join a team of hand-clappers in DPP even where “the train is taking a dangerous path”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :