Executive member of opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Dr Hatherwick Ntaba has denied claims by some delegates to the party convention, saying the camp of acting president Peter Mutharika has been threatening and trying to bar them from attending the indaba.
The threatened delegates include members of the party’s national governance council (NGC) and Members of Parliament (MPs) seen to be loyal to one of the presidential aspirants, Henry Chimunthu Banda.
Kasungu South East MP Grayson Bokosi Khamba, Ntchisi North West MP Herbert Bimphi, regional campaign director for the Centre, Reverend Leonard Chaunga, secretary-general post aspirant Jeffrey Mbuzi and Central Region organising secretary Mrs Kaluzi.
” I was told officially by Heathewick Ntaba and Jean Kalilani that myself and other colleagues who are deemed to be close to Chimunthu Banda will not be allowed to go into the convention,” claimed Mbuzi on Zodiak Broadcasting Service.
Khamba and Bimphi, who were gunning for the positions of national youth director and secretary general respectively, said they have withdrawn from the race at the convention which starts this Wednesday in Blantyre. following the threats.
But Ntaba told Zodiak that the claims were mere “propaganda” and cautioned the radio against being used to peddle lies.
“I am telling you this is not true. If he has told you and you go ahead to publish that story when there is no basis, it’s up to you but I am telling you there is no grain of truth in the issue, it’s all cooked up,” said Ntaba.
He challenged Mbuzi to bring evidence on his claims, saying he would be required “to produce objective material evidence to back his claim in court” hinting he may sue on defamation.
Chimunthu Banda, who is also Speaker of the National Assembly, is challenging acting DPP president Peter Mutharika for the presidency.
In a related development, it has been reported that DPP Central Region governor Frank Katundulu, who was suspended from the party for allegedly supporting Chimunthu Banda, has obtained a court injunction stopping his suspension and the court ruling that he is free to attend the convention.