Four UDF MPs defect to People’s Party

Four  Members of Parliament (MPs) for  United Democratic Front (UDF)  have joined the ruling People’s Party (PP).

The UDF MPs who have reportedly joined PP are the party’s former leader of house Ibrahim Matola, Mangochi North West MP Alfred Mwechumu,   Balaka Central East Parliamentarian Yaumi Aufi Mpaweni  and Mangochi South West MP Shamil Asibu.

Matola, who has been quite since he was appointed deputy minister in President Joyce Banda’s cabinet, has been seen on several public meetings wearing PP colours and badges, including on Sunday were the Vice president Khumbo Kachale presided over the HIV/AIDS candle lighting ceremony in Mitundu Lilongwe.

Matola: Now in orange from yellow

He was seen happily charting with former UDF National Executive Committee members such as former deputy organising secretary Levy Luwemba and Jack Kalonga who announced their defection to PP two weeks.

When he was queried if it is indeed true that he and the three others have indeed joined PP, Matola said, “My friend, there is always time to announce every development and changes. You will know my stand soon.”

When contacted, PP Publicity Secretary Steve Mwenye said he was not in a position to reveal names of those who have been accepted to join the party AS they are still screening the names of the applicants.

“But we have received a lot of interests from the MPs from all other parties, so soon you will be communicated,” he said.

When asked, UDF spokesperson Mahmudu  Lali only said he was surprised to see their former leader, who all along has been saying he will remain royal to the party while serving into the government are now wearing party colours and badges.

But a top PP official confided to Nyasa Times reporter that it’s true that the four have been accepted in the party.

“It’s true, they applied as a group and they are among those who have been accepted to be part of the PP. We are organising a big function soon at which all those that have been accepted will be formally welcomed,” said the source.

PP has also welcomed over 80 MPs from former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Meanwhile, DPP says  it will ask the Speaker of the National Assembly to declare vacant seats of its MPs who have defected to PP in line with Section 65 of the Constitution.

The section reads: “The Speaker shall declare vacant the seat of any member of the National Assembly who was, at the time of his or her election, a member of one political party represented in the National Assembly, other than by that member alone, but who has voluntarily ceased to be a member of that party or has joined another political party represented in the National Assembly, or has joined any other political party or association or organisation whose objectives or activities are political in nature.”

University of Malawi’s constitutional expert Dr Edge Kanyongolo recently  said PP could use both legal and illegal means to gain a working majority in Parliament.

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