One of the vocal ruling People’s Party (PP) officials, Yusuf Matumula has barred United Democratic Front (UDF) Machinga East Member of Parliament, Kenneth Thomas Kamu from attending President Joyce Banda’s rally in the constituency on Monday for fear of stealing the show, it has been learnt.
Matumula in a meeting held at Senior Chief Kawinga and in the presence of other chiefs including Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkowola and T/A Mlomba, summoned Kamu and told him would not be allowed to attend the rally late alone speak as a caution measure to avoid overtaking the rally and win over the PP targeted audience.
“I was told I could not be allowed to come to the event despite it being in my constituency. Mr. Matumula told me point blank that if I want to attend the rally I have to seek for permission from President Joyce Banda, and I don’t how I could do that,” lamented Kamu.
Kamu said the way Matumula put it, no opposition MP would not be allowed to patronize PP rallies to avoid stealing the morale from the ruling party, now eight months in government.
“I feel like am sidelined in an event happening in my constituency. As the sitting MP, I feel I was supposed to be part of the event, since am told it’s a development rally. But politics is killing unity in the country,” he added.
But Matumula, While confirming about the meeting, said he only advised the MP to seek PP’s approval if was willing to patronize the rally.
“Since it’s a PP rally, I only told the MP seeks the party’s approval first if he wanted to attend. I could not bar him from patronizing such event. It’s a party protocol just like UDF would do to any of PP member; we ought of doing the same. And you can talk to the party’s spokesperson, is the one better placed to comment on this matter,” said Matumula in an interview.
PP’s deputy spokesperson, Ken Msonda refused to comment on the issue and referred it to his boss, Hophmally Makande who could not pick up his phone.
Matumula, a businessman-cum-politician, is a close ally of former vice president Dr Cassim Chilumpha (PP vice president) who are both answering treason charges for an alleged plot to assisinate late president Bingu wa Mutrharika.
Minister Henry Phoya is on record saying Malawi’s intelligence apparatus has some “chilling evidence” surrounding the plans, saying Chilumpha instructed Matumula to travel to a foreign country to engage a professional assassin.