Things fall apart in DPP shadow cabinet – Nankhumwa fires Mwanamvekha as Finance Spokesperson

It appears the storm will not let up any time soon in the apposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Reported coming rom parliament indicate that Leader of Opposition, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has fired Joseph Mwanamvekha, who is also MP for Chiradzulu South from his position as the party’s spokesperson on Economy and Finance in parliament.

In a press release that has been released today, March 7, Nankhumwa announced that Mwanamvekha would be replaced by DPP’s Shadow Minister of Finance who is also MP for Mangochi Monkey Bay, Ralph Jooma as spokesperson for the party on finance and economy in parliament. The release also announced that Yusuf Nthenda, who is the party’s Shadow Minister of Justice and MP for Mulanje West will be the new spokesperson on legal affairs taking over from Bright Nsaka.

Mwanamvekha: Fired

What this means is that it will be Ralph Jooma, not Mwanamvekha, who will officially respond to the budgets on behalf of the DPP. The 2022/2023 budget was delivered by Minister of Finance, Sosten Gwengwe in Parliament on February 18, 2022, and normally finance spokespersons from opposition political parties are supposed to officially respond before it is adopted and passed.

Mwanamvekha and Nsaka were initially included in Nankhumwa’s Shadow Cabinet as Minister of Finance and Minister of Justice respectively but opted to resign saying the cabinet was not sanctioned by the party’s President, Peter Mutharika and that they cannot be part of it.

Commenting on the development, political scientist, Musca Likhomwa of the Institute for Social Progress said what Nankhumwa has done is not surprising. “Mwanamvekha and Nsaka resigned from Nankhumwa’s cabinet to send a message to him that they can not play second fiddle to him for the obvious reason that they are also campaigning for the party’s presidency. The resignations obviously embarrassed Nankhumwa and what he is doing is to hit back. He is the boss in as far as parliamentary business for the party is concerned, and the two should have seen this coming,” said Likhomwa.

In December last year, Mwanamvekha and former RBM Govenor, Dalitso Kabambe were arrested for allegedly conspiring to present false economic figures to International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to paint a rosy picture of the country’s economic performance and to qualify for the bank’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

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