Senior officials in both Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) have rejected the proposal by their leaders for their parties to enter into electoral partnership with the new kid on the block, UTM.
Both groups of officials fear UTM leader Saulos Chilima wants to use the two parties to ascend to the top post of president and then dump them once he gets elected and the rebellion is to an extent that they have told their leaders Lazarus Chakwera and Joyce Banda to join UTM as individuals .
The two parties made their stand known at separate meetings they held on Thursday 15 November 2018.
In the north, MCP deputy national director Mathias Mgomezulu said in Mzuzu that the party will win alone in the 2019 polls.
“MCP will do it alone. MCP will win alone. We do not need any alliance now or in the near future,” said Mgomezulu.
He claimed the parties MCP wants to be in alliance are corrupt and have dented image.
“As MCP, we have no intentions to make any alliances because we are confident of winning the elections, therefore there is no need for an alliance with any party,” said Mgomezulu.
Chakwera is reported to have tasked senior members of the party to meet to discuss a possible alliance with UTM.
The meeting took place at Mlambe Lodge in Area 12 in Lilongwe. MCP publicity secretary Rev Maurice Munthali chaired the meeting. It was attended by 46 officials which include Ulemu Msungama, Catherine Gotani Hara and her husband and Jessie Kabwila but MCP deputy president Sidik Mia was not invited to the meeting, in what sources say is clear demonstration of Chakwera’s growing mistrust of his Number 2.
Munthali told the meeting that Chakwera advised him to invite to the meeting only long-serving members of the party and a few new ones who can make a decision for the party.
Source said Muthali told the officials that Chakwera had made the decision to strike a coalition with UTM in reaction to the recent IPOR survey which revealed that MCP was rraling DPP in opinion survey and cannot win elections next year unless it gets electoral partners.
The meeting learnt that Chakwera has so far met with Chilima and engaged Joyce Banda over the coalition issue.
However, reports indicate that Chakwera already accepted to stand as running-mate to Chilima. Officials at the meeting indicated in their responses that they were aware that Chakwera has agreed to Chilima’s proposal.
But Gotani Hara, the party’s first deputy secretary generalsaid they were not going to be fooled into getting into an alliance with UTM, saying the new party is made up of people who are just power hungry.
Gotani said if the party is to go into an alliance with UTM, then there should be a legally-binding agreement on how they would share positions once they get into power.
On her take, Kawbila, the estranged former publicity secretary for MCP is reported to have said she had not been attending closed-door MCP meetings for a while now and she heard they have been discussing rubbish.
“MCP will remain MCP. We will contest in the election on our own,” said Kabwila.
She threatened that if Chakwera insists on dragging MCP into the coalition with UTM, they will work with a group of renegade MCP MPs who Chakwera frustrated in the primaries and are now forming the New Revolution Malawi Congress Party which they will launch at Masintha Ground.
Kabwila further warned that soon after the meeting she would report to former leader of the party John Tembo that Chakwera wants to sell MCP to Chilima.
She also rubbished the idea of a legally-binding agreement.
At the conclusion a vote was called; 18 members supported the coalition idea while 28 rejected it.
While MCP was holding its meeting in Lilongwe, PP was having a similar meeting in Blantyre at the former Shire Highlands Hotel in Limbe on the same day.
The PP meeting started at 15:30 and it was attended by 66 officials. It was chaired by Roy Kachale, son to the party’s leader Joyce Banda.
The PP officials too, including Kachale himself, unanimously rejected that their party should enter into a coalition with UTM.
They said they would rather partner with MCP or join DPP than work with him.
An official in the party says it is actually Ibrahim Matola who is pushing for the coalition issue, on instructions from Joyce Banda who has already met Chakwera and Chilima.
Chilima says no talks
UTM president Saulos Chilima said an earlier interview with Nyasa Times that the party is not in talks with MCP for electoral alliance.
He said UTM is strong enough to take on the ruling DPP and MCP head on during the tripartite elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :