Despite calls from Democratic Progress Party (DPP) president, Arthur Peter Mutharika’s plea saying he was aggrieved that estranged DPP presidential aspirant, Kondwani Nankhumwa used a picture of his late brother, former Head of State Bingu wa Mutharika on a political poster, three others have followed suit.
This time its presidential aspirant David Mbewe and the party’s two Members of Parliament (MPs), Sameer Suleman and Joyce Chitsulo, whose posters Nyasa Times has in possession.
APM, who is the country’s immediate past President issued a statement on January 3, — without directly mentioning Nankhumwa’s name but referring to “an individual” having circulated a poster, is of the opinion that the “purpose of this callous action is to give the impression that the late Bingu would have endorsed this individual’s candidacy”.
“As President of the DPP and head of the Mutharika family, I am distressed by this exploitation of our departed relative,” APM had said.
“I am therefore asking the individual concerned to withdraw this poster and to never post another one. On behalf of my family, I am asking this individual to respect Bingu’s soul and to let him Rest In Peace.”
Nankhumwa’s poster had a screaming headline ‘Kalikonse Mukaona in 2022’ and quotes Bingu as saying “Power is never given on a silver platter. You must fight for it”.
The latest we have seen — from Suleman and Chitsulo — also says ‘Kalikonse Mukaona’ and pays tribute to Bingu, saying he was “father and founder of the once mighty DPP” and that “he was a visionary leader, fatherly, God fearing and intelligent” with a hashtag: “may his soul rest in peace
David Mbewe describes himself as ‘the game changer’ saying “Change is Coming”.
APM, Nankhumwa and three other politicians — secretary-general Gelzeder Jeffrey; treasurer general Jappie Mhango and MP for Mulanje West Yusuf Nthenda — are at loggerheads over leadership of the party that surfaced when the former President tried to remove Nankhumwa as Parliament’s Leader of Opposition.
The four took to the courts to challenge their party president’s decision, which later was rescinded and were reinstated in their various posts.
In November, APM invited Nankhumwa and fellow party presidential aspirants — Paul Gadama; Dalitso Kabambe; David Mbewe; Bright Msaka and Joseph Mwanamveka for a reconciliatory meeting but it seems the renegades in the party are increasing.
The five DPP presidential aspirants were reunited “as a sign of reconciliation and to complement the spirit of unity preached by APM” and in the party’s statement it alleged aspirants pledged to serve and recognize APM’s authority and leadership as party president.
All aspirant agree to shelve their presidential ambitions and to stop any campaign until at a time when the convention will be announced and also to end all camps in the party.
The aspirants’ media teams were encouraged to merged into one team for the party to be led by Shadric Namalomba as the party spokesperson — but all these seemed to now spiraling into total divisions in the party.
Using Bingu’s face on the posters — rather than APM’s — seems to be an indication of these members’ rebellion of their party president, who touted in the party’s November statement to be guiding all business in Parliament through Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :