Factional feuding within the opposition United Democratic Front( UDF) took a new twist on Sunday with the party’s mainstream announcing it has appointed new people in positions formerly held by members of the Friday Jumbe faction who have been accused of absconding party activities in the recent times.
During a news conference held at the party headquarters after a National Executive Committee meeting, the party said it had exhausted all efforts to make the members of the Jumbe faction come back to the party but to no avail.
The party has appointed former foreign affairs minister Lillian Patel as new Organising Secretary replacing, Nicholas Kachingwe who has since left the country for the United Kingdom.
The position of Deputy Secretary General formerly held by Hophmally Makande is now occupied by former legislator Gerald Mponda.
Professor Kafwe Tembo is new Director of Economic Affairs replacing Friday Jumbe. Former minister Leonard Magulama is now Director of Research, a position formerly held by Humphreys Mvula. His deputy in new entrant on the scene, Ian Kanyuka.
Carton Sichinga is new Director of Education formerly occupied by Dr. George Mtafu before he became Treasurer General.
Former parliamentarian Ronald Chanthunya is new Deputy Treasurer General and has replaced Winston Chikalimba who defected to the DPP soon after failing parliamentary bid in 2009.
The party has also appointed Adam Sauzande as National Director of Youth and Machinga Central parliamentarian Shaibu Kaliati as his deputy.
Out of all these positions, only three positions were held by members of the Jumbe faction and these are Director of Research, National Organising Secretary and Deputy Secretary General.
UDF spokesman Mahmudu Lalli told journalists that the party made the decision because the former position holders were “misleading the general public and the party followers by conducting business in the name of the UDF.”
He said UDF “cannot continue to dance to the tune of a few people at the expense of the wishes of the majority members in the party who want progress.”
Speaking at the same function, Mtafu said the decision to replace the members may not please others but the party has no other option because dialogue has failed.
”There comes a time where we as a party must say enough is enough. The decision might not be perfect but that is the compromise decision we have to make,” said Mtafu.
He added that the affected members are a few in numbers but only pose big because they like using the media “to make noise.”
Secretary-general, Kennedy Mkwangwala said he made sure that all the members were called to the meeting including Jumbe and his cronies but decided to abscond.
He said party positions are not personal and UDF has the right to make changes through a mandated forum like NEC.
Makwangwala said the UDF constitution does not provide for the position of president and as such NEC could not discuss a position that does not exist.
He said the party will go flat out on the ground holding public rallies as a way of strengthening the party on the ground
Makwangwala said all the positions that were held by the said members were given to them by the same NEC and that the same NEC has decided to give the positions to people who are willing to work.
UDF ruled Malawi from1994 to 2004 under Bakili Muluzi as President. His handpicked successor Bingu wa Mutharika won the Presidency under UDF ticket but former his party in 2006.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :