It does not rain for the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General, Griselder Jeffrey wa Jeffrey; it actually pours!
Highly-placed sources within DPP’s higher echelons reveal that top leadership is seriously contemplating replacing the embattled Jeffrey wa Jeffrey with an “astute individual” of high moral integrity because she “has miserably failed to perform as CEO of a governing political party in Malawi”.
According to one of sources, the recent remarks by Nkhota Kota traditional chief Mphonda at the ‘Sidik Mia welcoming’ Malawi Congress Party (MCP) rally in Ngabu on Saturday, July 15, 2019, where he attacked the governing DPP have angered the DPP leadership, which accuses Jeffrey wa Jeffrey of not exerting control and authority over traditional chiefs that come from “her own backyard” in Nkhota Kota district in particular, and Central Region at large.
Besides being DPP SG, the highest-ranking official after President Arthur Peter Mutharika, Jeffrey wa Jeffrey is also Member of Parliament for Nkhota Kota South constituency.
During the MCP ‘welcoming Mia’ rally at Ngabu, Chief Mphonda publicly proclaimed his allegiance to MCP, the party, and its President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, adding he was “tired with the governing DPP”.
“I am a Malawian; I have the right to choose which political party to belong to. I am tired; we’re tired. Dr. Chakwera, Hon. Mia, please be assured that you have our support,” said Chief Mphonda, apparently speaking on behalf of a Central Region contingent, which also included T/A Kayembe and T/A Chiwele of Dowa.
This was hugely embarrassing to the DPP as well as an apparent departure from the longstanding norm that traditional chiefs maintain a nonpartisan stance, at least in public, but work with closely with the government of the day.
“It was inconceivable to hear the traditional chief speak and conduct himself in that manner. While, every person has the right to political choice, the traditional chief sounded like he had a score to settle.
“The DPP leadership suspects the Secretary General may not be doing something right in her backyard,” said the source, adding that such “unfortunate remarks” do not bode well for the future of the DPP ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Another source also revealed that the DPP leadership is investigating rumours that the SG behaves “freakishly big” before traditional chiefs and that her speech and conduct defy Malawian tradition where traditional chiefs are always held in high esteem.
It is also rumoured that Nkhota Kota Chief Mwansambo and Dowa’s Kasakula led fellow Cntral Region Chiefs to a meeting with Mia in Lilongwe a few days before the Ngabu meeting where the chiefs received K200,000 each from Mia in exchange of their support.
“The DPP leadership is completely aware that chiefs in Nkhota Kota and most parts of the central region are frustrated with the SG. She lacks public relations attributes and the longer she is retained in her position, the huge the damage the party shall incur. Prevention is better than cure, so goes an adage,” said the source, both a member of the DPP regional committee in the Centre and DPP national executive committee (NEC).
Jeffrey wa Jeffrey refused to comment on the matter when contacted on Friday and asked for more time to “look at the issues”.
This is not the first time Jeffrey wa Jeffrey has been in the limelight for wrong reasons. While on a political tour in the North, she remarked at a public rally that until Jesus Christ returns to the world, there shall never emerge a State President from that region.
Her remarks caused an uproar, with civil society organizations, including the Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP, demanding for an apology, which never came. The remarks were viewed as tribalistic and discriminatory.
It remains to be seen whether DPP and State President Arthur Peter Mutharika will take any stern action against the controversial Jeffrey wa Jeffrey, who insiders say enjoy closest ties with DPP Administrative Secretary Francis Mphepo. Mphepo is one of the most trusted confidantes of President Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :