MCP punches holes on Daza’s convention petition

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) administrative secretary Portipher Chidaya has reacted to the call by Secretary-general Chris Daza for an emergency convention with reservations.

Daza presented a petition to the party with signatures of office bearers calling for the convention to elect a new leader.

In the petition  dated August 1 2011, called for the convention to inform the membership on finances and also unveil potential presidential hopefuls and clearly saying veteran leader John Tembo is ineligible to run as per party constitution

But Chidaya said in a letter to Daza that some of the imprints in the petition were forged or obtained fraudulently, invalidating the call.

Daza: Accused of being deceitful

Chidaya described the petition as “fraud” and that “the list contains dubious district committees, signatures or wrong people who are not chairpersons recognised by the party.”

Non-existent

“I would like to bring to your knowledge that Nthalire Wenya and Chilumba may be famous places in the Northern Region but they are neither official government nor political districts. It is therefore, not possible under the sun that there can be elected party officials at non-existent districts as purported by your petition,” reads part of the letter by Chidaya.

He also noted that during a central executive meeting of the party in April 2011, an official from Mzimba said he was collecting signatures on behalf of party veteran leader John Tembo but that Daza appeared ignorant of this underhand exercise.

“Surprisingly, you are now presenting the signatures to the president to serve the same purpose. Eleven officials on the petition have either denied or said they were duped to sign while other numbers do not exist,” says Chidaya, saying the whole matter is an “obvious deceit.”

Chidaya also accused Daza of not examining the signatories of the petition “as most of them expressed ignorance of it.”

Writes Chidaya: “The manner in which signatures were obtained and the number of chairmen, who have disowned the petition, leads me to inform you that there is no justification for the President to call for an emergency convention.”

Daza wants to become MCP president and slide Tembo out of the hot seat.

In his December 12 2011 memorandum to Tembo, Daza says Article 40 of the MCP constitution provides that 51 percent of the legitimate leadership at district level can constitutionally call for an emergency convention.

Tembo, 78, is barred by the party constitution to contest for the presidency under the MCP ticket for the consecutive third time.

The veteran politician is however on record saying the issues whether the constitution is to be amended to allow his candidature in 2014 will be decided at the convention.

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