Khumbo informs JB he wants to quit PP NEC

President Joyce Banda’s want-away deputy Khumbo Kachali is contemplating to resign from governing People’s Party (PP) National Executive Committee (NEC), Nyasa Times can reveal.

According to a source within the VP’s security detail, Kachali has been to Kamuzu Palace to inform President Banda about his intention to leave the governing party’s politburo.

Presidential Press Secretary Steve Nhlane refused to comment on Kachali’s meeting with the Head of State.

However, he said he does not see anything out of the ordinary when the Vice President of the country is meeting his boss, the Head of State “to discuss matters of national interest”.

Kachali could not pick calls on his mobile phone on Wednesday.

President Banda gave Khumbo Kachali a "vote of no confidece"
President Banda gave Khumbo Kachali a “vote of no confidece”

But one of Kachali’s bodyguard, who preferred anonymity, said the outgoing Veep’s visit to Kamuzu Palace was to “request” the President to “allow” him to quit PP NEC and become an ordinary member of the party.

“He wants to be an ordinary member of the PP because he does not want to completely resign from the ruling party, for now, in the light of the elections, which are less than two weeks away. Resigning from the PP, under whose ticket he is running for a parliamentary seat in his Mzimba South West constituency, would have serious implications on his candidature,” opined the bodyguard.

Nyasa Times also understands that Kachali, who holds the position of Vice President in the PP responsible for the Northern Region, is campaigning behind the scenes for the opposition.

“He is playing it safe. He does not want to keep all his eggs in one basket. Now that it seems President Banda is the favourite to win the polls, Kachali wants to remain an ordinary member of the PP hoping that should JB win, the President may consider giving him some influential cabinet position,” said the bodyguard.

President Banda’s decision to leave out Kachali in preference for the youthful Sosten Gwengwe as her running mate ahead of the May 20 presidential race sparked Kachali’s resentment against the President and the PP.

The VP has described his side-lining as “vote of no confidence” but the President said Kachali was only picked to finish with her former President, the late Bingu WA Mutharika’s term.

Kachali has chosen to stay away from the limelight and has notably been absent from most presidential public functions except for those held in his Mzimba district.

He did not turn up at the press conference when President Banda unveiled Gwengwe at Sanjika Palace in February as well as when she presented her nomination papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.

Kachali’s resignation follows that of Cassim Chilumpha and Mohammad Sidik Mia who were PP vice-presidents responsible for the Central and Southern regions respectively.

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