Outspoken leader of opposition file party MDP Kamlepo Kalua has clarified his presence at ruling People’s Party (PP) saying it does not mean he has joined it. However, he has pledged total support to the Joyce Banda led administration.
Kalua told state owned MBC Malawi Panorama morning program that President Banda has displayed mature and tolerant leadership in the five months she has been at the helm.
The flamboyant politician cited president Banda’s handling of the Malawi-Tanzania border row as one of the reasons he has thrown his unwavering support to the president and her government.
“Yes, I am supporting President Joyce Banda and her government because she has demonstrated to me that she is a listening leader. During the border row with Tanzania she invited all the opposition party leaders for consultations that is what a leader is supposed to do,” said Kalua.
However, Kalua, a strong critic of former Malawi presidents Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi and Bingu wa Mutharika , dispelled insinuations that by supporting the Banda administration he has automatically become a PP member.
He denied: “I still remain founding president of MDP, I have not joined the PP; you know the way things are at the moment, president Banda needs strong support and that is what I have done.”
Asked on whether his move would not lead to the death of opposition in Malawi, Kamlepo told the radio that he strongly advocates for vibrant opposition at the same time rallying for national wide support for the incumbent president.
“Vibrant opposition actually strengthens democracy but that does not stop me from supporting the current leadership; frankly speaking, it’s trying its best and we ought to appreciate that,” added Kalua.
Commenting on 2014 presidential polls, Kalua said his chances of participating will be determined by the availability of funds.
There have been widespread reports making rounds about possible Kalua’s defection to the PP and the rumors gained momentum when he attended a PP campaign rally in Mzimba addressed by the vice president Khumbo Kachali.