Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president John Tembo has rejected the renewal of membership of Gwanda Chakuamba, saying he is not welcomed in the party’s rank and file.
Reacting to Chakuamba’s announcement that he was rejoining the country’s oldest party, Tembo said Chakuamba was not welcomed in the party’s rank and file because he was a vagabond and confusionist.
He said MCP has its own procedures for one to join it and it does not want Chakuamba to renew his membership with it.
“A vagabond is never welcomed in MCP. We want members and we have members,” Tembo said.
The veteran politician said a person who wishes to join the party discusses the issue with him first before making it public, a procedure he said Chakuamba has deliberately flouted.
“I have not heard it officially [about his intention to join MCP] but understand I heard so much rumour that he is going to give a press conference.
“A person who wants to come to MCP does not write, he comes to discuss with me after all I am the president of the party. He is not president of MCP, he is president of New Republican Party [NRP], so how can he walk from one party to another without the courtesy of discussing it the president of that party,” said Tembo.
He added: “I am not talking about friends or enemies I am talking about practice, constitutional provisions of political parties and I am telling members of the Malawi Congress party not to take anything from Chakuamba, they know him, he comes here, he leaves, he goes there, he leaves, so he is only coming to MCP to cause confusion.”
The MCP President said being a former member of the party, Chakuamba knew the procedures and he needed to follow them if he wanted to rejoin it.
He said among the procedures, one must not belong to another political party and hold dual membership.
But speaking earlier Chakuamba said he had decided return to the party because “it is my father’s party and I started my political career from there.”
Chakuamba was jailed by late Kamuzu Banda for his attempt to kill him with a pen-pistol. He was released during the dawn of multiparty democracy and joined UDF.
He then rejoined the MCP where he led it to 1999 elections but later fell out with party strongman John Tembo forcing him to resign and form his Republican Party.
Under his Republican Party, Chakuamba was one of the hottest presidential candidates during the May 2004 elections.
He declared himself president before the official results were announced, leading to demonstrations in the commercial capital Blantyre that led to the killing of several people by police.
The veteran politician then quit the Republican Party and joined the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) where he was elected as interim first vice president.
He continued with his nomadic political life after he ditched the DPP after the then President Bingu wa Mutharika sacked him from his cabinet following a corruption row. He was accused of buying a luxury sedan with World Bank cash.
Recently, Chakuamba was seen attending the ruling People’s Party meetings and campaigned for it in Mzimba during the by-elections.
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