In a surprising twist of events, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesman Brown James Mpinganjira has asked former President of the Republic and DPP leader Peter Mutharika to “move on” after losing the 2020 presidential election re-run and support the current MCP government under President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for socio-economic development to take place in the country.
Mpinganjira, previously a fierce critic of the current regime, said this in an exclusive interview on Times Television hosted by Wonder Msiska on Saturday evening, June 26, 2021.
Rumours have it that Mpinganjira, who has been to almost all political parties as a senior member and formed his own National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the early 2000, has held secret talks with President Chakwera on the possibility of his joining the ruling party. He has denied the rumours.
But the DPP spokesman was emphatic during the interview in his call for unity among all Malawians regardless of political party membership, tribe and region of origin.
“We are all Malawians and we must strive to put politics aside and concentrate on nation building. We must help the current (MCP) government fulfill campaign promises because if MCP succeeds, we all succeed.
“I would like to specifically request the clergy to take a leading role in fostering unity and harmony among all Malawians. Let them encourage former Presidents (Bakili Muluzi, Peter Mutharika and Joyce Banda) and former Vice Presidents (Cassim Chilumpha and Khumbo Kachali) to work together and help the current administration deliver on its pledges and commitments. If this ship sinks, we shall all sink, and not only MCP members and supporters.
“Governments change. There was UDF; there was DPP; there was PP; now there is MCP. Let’s accept these changes without any tribal and regional considerations,” said Mpinganjira.
Asked why the sudden change of heart when a few month ago, he and the DPP cried foul over the results of the presidential election re-run, Mpinganjira said it is merely natural to complain after a loss because everyone goes into a contest with confidence to win. He said that is now water under the bridge and now the DPP and all Malawians must put the country first for socio-economic transformation to genuinely take place.
When asked why he should be urging unity among Malawians when in fact his own DPP is in turmoil over leadership succession, BJ, as he is popularly known in the political circles, claimed the problems of the country are more important than the problems a political party.
It is not clear yet how the DPP top leadership will react to Mpinganjira’s latest stance. However, estranged Secretary General of the party Grezelder Jeffrey told Nyasa Times that she did not watch the interview and therefore difficult to make an informed comment.
“But if indeed Honourable Mpinganjira said that, he may have been exercising his right to free speech and opinion. There is nothing wrong with that in a democracy,” she said in an interview on Sunday in Lilongwe.
Recently, Mpinganjira’s sons, Chipiliro, who is Member of Parliament (MP) for Blantyre Central (Ndirande) and Patrick Mpinganjira Matola, MP for Chiradzulu North, withdrew their allegiance to the DPP. This, they claimed, followed a physical attack on their father by some DPP youths at a press conference in Lilongwe.
They demanded an ‘apology’ from the DPP Vice President for the Southern Region and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, for the attack, alleging he orchestrated it. The former has denied responsibility.
Nankhumwa is the leading candidate to succeed Mutharika at the party’s national convention but a sworn enemy of Mpinganjira whom he dislodged as MP for Mulanje Central constituency over a decade ago.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :