DPP Neno members defect en masse to People’s Party

The governing People’s Party’s recruitment drive took a new dimension at the weekend when it welcomed into its fold over 1500 members who have jumped the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ship in Neno district.

The group led by senior Neno-North and Neno-South DPP officials announced their defection at a meeting PP Southern Province chairman Ali M’balaka held at the boma on Sunday.

The meeting, according to M’balaka, was designed to encourage and strengthen the party’s 165 branch structures it has in the district in readiness for the 2014 general elections.

However, the chairman was puzzled when a horde of former DPP members mainly youth and women stormed the meeting and wasted no time in announcing their defection to the ruling party.

The PP gaining more members

The group’s leader of delegation who identified himself as Misonzi Mataya told M’balaka who was in the company of his provincial secretary Tennyson Nankhuni, provincial Campaign Director Peter Chatsweka and Deputy Director of Women Enelesi Nandolo that they have thought it wise to work with the current government because it is providing hope to Malawians.

“We wanted to come to Blantyre to actually announce our defection from the DPP but we heard the Regional Governor was coming here that’s why we took the opportunity to make ourselves known,” explained Mataya who has been a reliable member for the former ruling DPP since its inception in 2004.

He added: “Each one of us here has his or her own sentiments to make but if we’re to do that then it would take us the whole day that’s why I volunteered to speak on behalf of my friends.

In his welcoming remarks, M’balaka hailed PP’s Neno district governor a Mr. M’biza for working tirelessly despite his old age to bring on board as many members as possible to the ruling party.

He therefore urged the party’s officials at the grass root level to emulate M’biza’s gesture saying it’s the only way the party would come out of the 2014 general elections victorious.

Meanwhile, during the meeting a minor fracas ensued when PP officials started distributing orange T-shirts carrying the face of President Mrs. Banda to the officials that had gathered.

This did not amuse the newly registered members who also wanted their share of the party materials.

M’balaka therefore calmed the situation down when he promised the defectors that he will report their grievances to the national office for consideration.

“When I was coming here I only had one thing in mind that is to address PP Neno district officials on how best they can strengthen the party, frankly, I didn’t know I would find over 1500 defectors, bear with us because we did not include you when we were planning for this trip but that’s not an issue I will be back soon with more party T-shirts, caps and cloth materials,” reasoned M’balaka with the otherwise disaffected crowd.

Since miraculously earning the ruling party status, following death of tyrant Bingu wa Mutharika in April, there has been a wild influx of several political heavyweights to the PP but the Neno defection is the largest so far.

DPP officials were not readily available for comment on the latest defections but its Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga is on record to have downplayed real impact of such defections.

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