Two prominent Members of Parliament from Mangochi have engaged in a relentless verbal spat over President Peter Mutharika’s money and power following his visit to the Lake District.
Mangochi Central MP, and second deputy speaker of Parliament, Dr Clement Chiwaya (UDF) and DPP’s Mangochi North constituency MP, Benedicto Ali Chambo exchanged a vocal outburst over who must be closer to the President during his visit to the district.
In a frenzied telephone conversation capture in a leaked clip which Nyasa Times has in possession, Chiwaya vehemently kept showing off that he is much closer to State President, who he repeatedly addressed only by his first name.
Chiwaya kept yelling at Chambo to stay away from his constituency which he referred to as Mangochi, or else face the consequences.
However, Nyasa Times investigations unravelled the genesis of the reasons behind the tussle between the two lawmakers as Chambo’s attendance to a site meeting ahead of the President’s visit to the district for a Muslim annual event, Ijtima, in Chiwaya’s terrain where the President was scheduled to visit and had allegedly coughed up a whooping MK10 million towards the event.
According to sources, Chiwaya is said to have been infuriated by the fact that he was sidelined on the preparation of President Mutharika’s visit to his constituency and that instead, Chambo, who is Mangochi North Parliamentarian was at the centre of everything in his territory stealing his show.
“The issue here is not only about the district’s political bragging rights, the problem is the MK10 Million the president gave out towards the event. Chiwaya who always pledges his allegiance to President Mutharika and the DPP despite being UDF feels alienated and thinks that Chambo is trespassing and encroaching into his terrains,” said a source privy to the ‘inside story.’
Added the source: “Each one of them (Chiwaya and Chambo) wants to be closer to the powers that be. The only problem is that on one hand, Chiwaya is a bit out of favour and touch and there is a conspiracy to topple him out by the Mangochi political establishment while Chambo on the other hand, is relevant and although he is an MP for Mangochi North, he spends most of his time in Mangochi Central as he has a house in Chiwaya’s constituency.”
Chiwaya issuing agitatedly threats to his fellow MP said: “What were you doing at the site meeting? Who invited you? Can you keep Mangochi out of your reach? That is my constituency. Let me tell you, I speak to Peter (Mutharika) anytime and tell him what I want.”
But Chambo who made the call was calm, throughout Chiwaya’s ranting.
“I am calling to apologise to you. It was not right that I went to the site meeting but it is not my fault as I was invited,” said Chambo apologetically.
But Chiwaya charged: “Who invited you to the site meeting? What were you doing there? Let me tell you, I don’t make enmities, if I did, I wouldn’t be talking to you. At one time Jappie Mhango called me asked me why you were talking on my behalf and I want to tell you to stay away from my constituency.”
Chambo serenely replied: “I was invited by the director of public events, Mr Saonda and you can ask him. As I said, I was wrong to attend the site meeting; I should have just attended the event where the president would be.”
But Chiwaya ranted furiously: “I want to warn you to stay away from my constituency. I respect you and I don’t want to use my power as the ‘don’ of the constituency (Mangochi Central) for I can make your life hellish.”
To which Chambo retorted rebelliously: “No, that cannot happen. (Ayi, izozo sizingachitike!”)
And Chiwaya swiftly rejoined: “You think I can’t make your life hellish?”
With its high population of voters, Mangochi is a ‘bedrock’ of Malawian politics during elections and every political leader in the country including President knows how crucial this lake District is when it comes to winning elections.
The two MPs’ inexorable squabbles put President Mutharika in a political quagmire and between a rock and hard place as it will be too complex and difficult to take sides on the matter as he needs both MPs to his side.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :