Some members of the UTM party in Mulanje on Saturday, November 17, 2018 defected to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying the movement’s leadership lacks the necessary skills and vision to run a country.
They announced their resolve at a political rally held by legislator for Mulanje Central constituency, Kondwani Nankhumwa at Manyangala ground near Chinakanaka Trading Centre.
According to one of the defectors, who was District Governor, Grey Banda, they initially belonged to Manganya’s (Michael Usi) Odya Zake Alibe Mlandu political grouping before they followed him to UTM, which he (Manganya) has since joined. UTM is led by Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima who fell out favour with President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika. Chilima has since registered UTM and he is likely to run for presidency in May 2019.
“We have decided to support President Mutharika and the DPP. We are convinced by his excellent and visionary leadership that is propelling this country to greater social and economic heights. What we admire most about President Mutharika is his level-headedness and compassion unlike our former leaders who are dangerously pompous and greedy,” said Banda, who spoke on behalf of 24 others.
Other defectors included the Governess, Ethel Mawila Sekela, Secretary Esther Kweruza, Vice Secretary Tereza Jemusani and Treasurer Mary Mponda.
Nankhumwa officially welcomed the members to DPP.
He called upon DPP position holders to work closely with the new entrants in canvassing votes for President Mutharika and DPP ahead of the crucial 2019 tripartite polls.
“Let’s love and support one another as members of one family. There should be no room for greed and backbiting in DPP but instead we’ve to rally behind one another during this crucial moment.
“Backbiting and petty jealousy are evils that cannot take us forward as a party but bring us down. I have been in politics long enough to know and understand that speaking bad things about members behind their back is bad; it de-motivates them,” said Nankhumwa, who is also DPP southern region vice president, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Leader of the House in Parliament.
Mulanje Urban District Governor, Eliza John, DPP constituency Governor, Smart Ngalande, Councillor for the area, Abigail Khamisa and Village Headman Manyangala hailed their MP for his hardworking spirit, which has culminated in rapid social and economic development in the area. They nonetheless bemoaned the worsening food situation in many households.
Nankhumwa informed the people that President Mutharika is well aware of the dire food situation, which was as a result of the fall armyworms that devoured the maize crop last crop season.
“The President has assured me that as he has always said, no-one shall die because of hunger. Relief food items, including maize, beans, groundnuts, salt and cooking oil shall be distributed to vulnerable families,” he said.
Earlier in the morning, Nankhumwa officially presented brand new football and netball sets of uniform to teams that have reached the semifinals of the K5 million Nankhumwa Trophy. The event took place at his constituency office at Chisitu, Mulanje.
In the netball category, competing teams are Happy Queens, Young Hammer Sisters, Monkers Sisters and Mighty Queens. Warriors United, Best Eleven, Chisitu United and Young Professionals will compete in football semis.
About 90 teams entered the competition; 37 for netball and 63 for football. All teams received a ball at the beginning of the tournament and this is the third year that the competition has been running. In 2016, Mangani FC were the champions in football while Chinakana FC became champions in 2017. In netball, Happy Queens have been dominating since the competition’s inception.
Nankhumwa announced at the event that he would soon buy a 36-seater coaster to ease the teams’ transport woes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :