DPP undermining of Tembenu leads to PAC, govt talks deadlock

The collapse of dialogue between the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and the government over issues the quasi-religious group is as a result of an infighting within the Democratic Progressive Party(DPP)  where some old guards led by  senior ministers George  Chaponda and  Kondwani Nankhumwa and Henry Mussa who form part of the infamous midnight six have been protesting the chairmanship of Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister,  Samuel Tembenu, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Tembenu (right) with President Mutharika:Chairs technical team for dialogue which have failed
Tembenu (right) with President Mutharika:Chairs technical team for dialogue which have failed

Apparently it is said that these ministers wield alot of power and President Peter Mutharika can not do without them.

These ministers,  Nyasa Times has learnt, brag within the party that the President found them in the party and therefore owes them alot of respect.

An inside source close to the government side told Nyasa Times that while there has been willingness from the Tembenu led team from government, the old guards who feel Tembenu is too new to lead such a team on behalf of government.

But government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati said government  has “too many things to do” and that PAC meeting is not the only thing  they intend to focus on.

The source, however,  said meetings between government and PAC have had to be frustrated  when all was set because the old guards still want to control the events.

“The truth of matter in the deadlock is that some DPP old guards are not happy that the President appointed Tembenu as chair of the  government team,” said the source who advised for anonymity.

She said that as long as Tembenu remains chair with the people like Mavuto Bamusi and Collins Magalasi in the team those meetings can not go far.

The source said all the members but Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba are new to the DPP politics and can not be allowed to lead the team.

She added, some of the old guards who apparently are cabinet ministers have had problems with Tembenu who they call a “politician without a constituency”.

President Peter Mutharika appointed the team in line with the outcome of an audience he had with PAC on April 21 2016 where the religious body presented to him resolutions from its February 2016 Fifth All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference.

PAC—a civil society, inter-faith organisation made up of the main Protestant, Catholic and Muslim faith groups in the country— developed actionable resolutions on each thematic area, including governance, agriculture, economy and health.

Meanwhile, Kaliati, who is also minister of information, communication, technology and civic education has  accused the media of being “overzealous” with dialogue.

But Malawi’s flagship newspaper, The Daily Times in an editorial comment on Wednesday said government should not blame  the media.

“Dont blame the media”, reads a title of the editorial opinion which said whatever role politicians think the media should play, the rightful role that the media strives to fulfil is to inform the nation and make sure that everyone has the right information to actively participate in governance issues.

PAC suspended the talks last month, accusing the government negotiating team of lacking commitment.

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John Black
5 years ago

So internal DPP power struggles are frustrating the solutions to the problems the people are facing: hunger, collapsing economy, corruption on all levels, run-away ,you name it.

5 years ago

PAC should be disbanded for good, as they have destroyed all the goodwill they had with the government. They are so arrogant you would think they were elected by the public at large, as political functionaries. And PAC’s causes can easily be adopted by other groups. Less antagonistic groups – ones not always poisoning the well, so to speak.
The most benign scenario is one where PAC replaces all its reps; removing the leaders alone won’t do. Because major surgery is required here to eventually heal the wound. Asa.

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