DPP stops Kaliati’s presser on Bingu’s resignation call

Malawis ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top brass on Friday stopped a press conference organised by the Minister of Information and Civic Education Patricia Kaliati who wanted to respond to Public Affairs Committee’s (PAC) call for President Bingu wa Mutharika to resign or call for a referendum.

Kaliati organised the press conference Friday afternoon and her office through the coordinator of Lilongwe’s Central Office of Information (COI) called all media houses to attend the conference only to make a u-turn later in the day.

Nyasa Times investigations revealed that DPP Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga ordered the COI officers to cancel the meeting after he was told that the press conference was aimed at answering PAC’s demand.

Kaliati: Stopped

“Kamanga called COI coordinator Chikondi Chimala asking him what the press conference was all about and told him that if the minister wanted to go ahead with the conference she should only comment on issues to do with her ministry and nothing on the PAC resolutions,” said a source within the party.

The source said COI officers briefed Kaliati on the directive and they were only told that she will talk to Kamanga but she came back later calling off the conference. Kaliati is the Director of Women Affairs in the ruling party.

Since PAC came up with its biting resolutions on Thursday when they called for Mutharika to resign within 60 days or call for a referendum following a conference the committee had at Limbe Cathedral in Blantyre, both DPP and government has not commented on the matter.

Prior to the PAC conference the DPP general secretary also stopped Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development , who is also the party’s second vice president,  Yunus Mussa to go ahead with a directive that all party members should on the day of the conference put on their blue attire.

Mussa released a statement directing that all those who love the ruling party-from Nsanje to Chitipa-should put on the blue attire as a sign of protest against the PAC meeting.

The statement aired on MBC Radio One 6.00 pm news bulletin was “quickly” put off air and was not carried in subsequent news bulletins at 7.00pm and at 8.00pm.

Fearing the outcome of the PAC conference, which drew participation from the religious leaders, academia, civil society organisations and various professionals, government had earlier on directed Blantyre’s Mount Soche Hotel not to host the conference.

However, after failed attempts to stop Roman Catholic Church to host the conference at its Limbe Cathedral, some DPP officials kept on insinuating that the conference was aimed at toppling government through a coup de tat.

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