The People’s Party (PP) continues to make political inroads on the country’s political scene following the defection of former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Nsanje South-west parliamentarian and Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Services, Boniface Chimpokosera.
Republican Party (RP) candidate for Nsanje Central in the 2009 parliamentary elections Hubert Bande and former RP Nsanje South parliamentarian Limited Genti also officially announced their defection to PP alongside 470 DPP and RP members at Nsanje Community Centre Ground on Friday during a public rally addressed by PP founding leader Joyce Banda who is also Vice President of Malawi.
DPP fielded Chimpokosera in a by-election in December 2005 following the death of RP MP Francis Aniva early that year.
Welcoming the new members, PP provincial governor in Southern Region, Ali M’balaka noted that the leadership of the People’s Party was that of high integrity hence the desire by many to associate with the party.
“Our slogan is ‘Power to the People’ and our symbol is an ‘open lock’. What these imply is that the PP is a party of the people and that it has an open-door policy where people of all backgrounds are welcome within its fold,” M’balaka said, noting that Nsanje still lags behind in the areas of social and economic development .
“From now on, let’s support the People’s Party and its leadership; the party’s policies have been formulated in such a way that abject poverty among the masses is drastically dealt with,” M’balaka said.
Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Genti said the People’s Party is the only party that presents genuine proposals and possible solutions to the social, economic and political malaise among the masses.
The PP now boasts four MPs in Parliament who defected from the DPP. They include Anita Kalinde of Thyolo North, Jennifer Chilunga of Zomba Nsondole, Grace Maseko of Zomba Changalume and PP interim Vice President Khumbo Kachali who is Mzimba South-west Parliamentarian.
Kachali was unceremoniously expelled from the DPP alongside the State Vice President Banda in December 2010 for refusing to support the idea of Peter Arthur Mutharika, the Foreign Minister, to take the high office from his elder brother Bingu wa Mutharika.
The People’s Party was officially registered in April 2011 after a protracted legal battle emanating from government’s refusal to register it. The People’s Party continues to enjoy tremendous support in the South, Central and North of Malawi, with over 2 million registered members, according to officials.