Over 20 Members of Parliament (MPs) of the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Easter Monday paid a courtesy call on President Joyce Banda at her official Area 12 Residence in the Capital City, Lilongwe.
Banda ascended to the Presidency of the country following the death of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika who died after he suffered a cardiac arrest on April 5, 2012.
Following the death, executive members, cabinet ministers and MPs of the DPP, which Mutharika led before his death, have been divided over whether to support the new President and her People’s Party (PP) or Professor Peter Mutharika, whom the DPP say is caretaker leader of the DPP.
“We came here to congratulate the President, Her Excellency Joyce Banda and to demonstrate our solidarity to her leadership. We’re members of the Hope Alliance and we have been hoping for change all along,” said Blantyre North Parliamentarian, Moses Kunkuyu, leader of the Hope Alliance.
Hope Alliance was an underground movement comprising DPP MPs who were not happy with the way things were being run in the party, including suspected dictatorial leadership of the fallen Head of State.
But after meeting President Banda, Kunkuyu said as members of the Hope Alliance, they were saddened with the passing of President Mutharika and said he was a good leader.
Member of Parliament for Chiradzulu South, Eunice Kazembe said she will support a fellow woman so that the country experiences meaningful change.
“Women should be happy; we have a female president who has always supported women, this means lives of women and everyone in the country will change,” explained Kazembe.
Other MPs that met President Banda included former Energy Minister Grain Malunga, former Local Government Minister Anna Kachikho, Second Deputy Speaker Juliana Mphande, Joseph Tembo, Felix Njawala, among others.
Mutharika’s DPP expelled President Banda in December 2010 because she refused to accept the nomination of Peter Mutharika as the next president. She proceeded to form the People’s Party, now effectively the governing party in Malawi.