Tembo calls MCP spokesperson Kalelo ‘childish’: Convention date not certain

Leader of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) John Tembo has described the party’s spokesperson Jolly Kalelo as too childish and that he is not fit to be a member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

Tembo said during Tiuzeni Zoona program which airs on Malawi’s local radio Zodiak Broadcasting Station hosted by multi-award winning journalist Pilirani Phiri on Sunday.

The veteran politician said Kalelo a former employee with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation was wrong to be updating the media on the progress of deliberations that were still going on during the recent party’s NEC meeting before the NEC officials agreed to do so.

“What Kalero did was too childish. He was using ‘his machine’ to tell journalists on the progress of the deliberations. He doesn’t deserve to be in the NEC meeting he is only fit to be a reporter for a media organisation. He should be lucky that NEC did not discipline him on the spot for what he was doing as we were waiting for him to explain it himself,” charged Tembo.

Tembo: Non committal on the 9 August covnentio date
Tembo: Non committal on the 9 August covnentio date

He therefore said could not confirm on what Kalelo said that the convention will be held on August 9 although he said had confidence that it can be held on this particular day.

“May be it will be held on that date because we are yet to finalize some issues with the Natural Resources College which is the venue of the convention,” said Tembo.

Tembo who is also the leader of the opposition in Malalwi parliament  also said another issue is on SADC meeting which is expected to be held from 10-17 August saying this is a big event and no party can be doing something else during these days. On this he said the party will make sure that the convention day does not clash with SADC meeting.

On the issue of trimming the contestants from 12 to 3 or four candidates a contentious issue that remained unresolved during the NEC meeting Tembo said  would be comfortable to comment saying the committee tasked to look into the issue has not yet discussed with him on the matter as agreed.

“I am waiting for the NEC representatives and chairman of the convention to discuss with me as the party’s president on the issue. But I was the one who volunteered to withdraw from the race but many delegates refused”.

He said out of 25 delegates to the meeting only seven accepted his withdraw “but with conditions” he did not elaborate.

However Tembo backed the condition that requires those who have been dedicated members of the party for the past five years to contest as the party’s president saying he has no problem with it because it is the criteria that the party has chosen to follow during the convention.

MCP, which ruled the country from independence in 1964 to the dawn of plural politics in 1994, is expected to elect its president who will lead the party in the 2014 presidential race.

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