Malawi VP Kachali courting MCP

Malawi’s State Vice President  Khumbo Hastings Kachali and governing People’s Party (PP) Vice President responsible for operations, has been in serious secret talks with opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) with a view to joining the country’s oldest political party.

On February 13, 2014, President Joyce Banda, who is also PP’s presidential candidate in the May 20, 2014 Tripartite Elections, unveiled Industry and Trade Minister Sosten Gwengwe as her running mate for the forthcoming polls instead of Kachali.

When she unveiled Gwengwe, President Banda said she left out Kachali because their union was a two-year contract to finish former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s term.

Apparently, Kachali is disillusioned by the President’s decision. He is now looking elsewhere, at least if revelations by insiders in MCP are anything to go by.

Kachali: Reppositioning himself
Kachali: Reppositioning himself

“The VP (Kachali) has held many secret meetings with the leadership of the MCP, including its President Reverend Chakwera. There seems to be developing a strong relationship between the VP and the MCP. The latest meeting took place last Friday, March 14, 2014.

“I am sure they must be working together publicly after the May 20 elections,” said an MCP insider, adding that as at now, Kachali cannot renounce his PP membership as he already submitted nomination papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as PP candidate for Mzimba South-west constituency.

“He (Kachali)  risks being disqualified should he publicly announce that he has joined MCP before the elections,” he explained, pleading for anonymity.

MCP officials brokering the deal include Chakwera’s running mate, Richard Msowoya, MP for Lilongwe Mapuyu South, Joseph Njobvuyalema and MP for Mzimba Solola, Ackim Mwanza, according to the source.

According to other sources, immidiately after being sidelined as running mate, Kachali had also been meeting leaders of another opposition political party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on similar reasons.

However, it seems the discussions collapsed apparently on differences in the form of a working relationship. During its reign in 2010, the DPP unceremoniously expelled from the party Kachali, alongside President Banda, who was then State Vice President.

Kachali is the first Vice President from the Northern Region of Malawi. The three previous vice presidents came from the central and southern regions.

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