‘Newcomers should not displace PP founders’

President Joyce  Banda has  encouraged her governing People’s Party  (PP) officials to practice politics of inclusivity, saying members of other parties wishing to join the governing party  should do so without any hindrance.

“But no PP office-bearer should lose their position to newcomers. While we will accept new members, those members should not come to replace the founding members,” Banda said, noting that in multiparty politics, numbers matter greatly if a particular political party has to excel in national elections.

President Banda was speaking on Sunday in Monkey Bay in the resort district of Mangochi when she addressed a ‘Development Rally’.

VP Kachali speaking at the rally

She then said the recent proposition by the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to have Members of Parliament (MPs) working with her PP administration be dismissed on account of the defection law, Section 65, could have negative economic repercussions on the people of Malawi.

“Section 65 is costly; if that would be implemented, these people would be asking me to authorize the release of about K4.9 billion for by-elections.

“I would rather authorize release of such a huge amount for the acquisition of food and medical drugs .In any case, who crossed the floor; is it not them (DPP) who are now sitting on the opposition benches; our MPs are still sitting where they used to sit,” she said, attracting a standing ovation.

Speaking at the same function, State Vice president and PP second-in command, Khumbo Kachali asked some PP officials against stopping members from other parties from joining the new ruling party.

Kachali said PP has an open-door policy; hence, officials should welcome everyone into the party, including those who castigated him and President Banda after their  expulsion from DPP in December 2010.

The Vice-President was expelled from DPP alongside Banda for allegedly forming parallel structures against the then president Bingu wa Mutharika.

At the function, several high profile members of the DPP and UDF were welcomed into PP. They included prominent businessman Ceasar Fachi and former DPP Regional Governor for the Eastern Region.

Ralph Jooma, MP for the area pledged that people of his constituency will work with President and her government to fight hunger and poverty.

Jooma, who is also deputy minister of lands, also requested that government completes the construction of the road to Cape Maclear, a popular tourist destination.

He also asked the President that in line with her Safe Motherhood initiative, a maternity wing be built at Cape Maclear Health Centre, which was built with funding from a white investor in the area.

President Banda welcomed by Vice president Kachali
A cross section of people at the rally
Dancing in orange, PP women
President Banda gives lamps to constituency members

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