Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says the arrest and subsequent detention of its acting president Peter Mutharika and other top officials on allegation that they were part of coup plotters after the sadden death of Bingu wa Mutharika has halted preparations for the party’s national convention.
The party was gearing to hold its first ever convention from April 17 through to19 at the Bingu International Conference Center in Lilongwe in central Malawi.
But now chances of holding the Indaba as planned are very slim following the arrest of DPP top officials including the main organizing committee chairperson Nicolas Dausi, according to the party’s treasurer general Dr. George Chaponda.
Chaponda said the party’s loyalist’s attention has been diverted from activities regarding the national convention to the arrest of its officials who have been formally charged with treason.
He said they halted preparations and fundraising activities as they are moving up and down in the quest to have their fellow officials released on bail.
“We can’t continue with the preparations; the arrest of these officials has adversely affected progress in terms of our preparations and other activities that were supposed to take place prior to the convention. Otherwise were set to hold the convention,” said Chaponda.
Earlier, the party disclosed that the convention would cost about K65 million (about $ 170,000) and that they opted for the Bingu International Conference Centre as the venue for the indaba to honour the party’s founder former president late Bingu wa Mutharika.
Bingu formed DPP in 2005 after ditching the United Democratic Front (UDF), a party that had ushered him into the Office of the President after winning in the 2004 presidential elections.
The coup plot suspects include former ministers Patricia Kaliati, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, Dr Jean Kalirani, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Nicolas Dausi, Henry Mussa, economic planning and development minister Dr. Goodall Gondwe, former chief secretary to government Bright Msaka and his deputy Necton Mhura, former presidential legal advisor Allan Ntata and former State House security guard commander Duncan Mwapasa.