People’s Party Acting president Uladi Mussa has defiantly maintained that he is still at the helm of the party as mandated by its constitution and that a decision by an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of PP to suspend him is inconsequential.
Mussa was suspended by the party’s highest decision-making body after he launched an unexpected leadership challenge on the party’s leader Joyce Banda, declaring presidential aspirations in 2019 arguing Banda’s tenure has expired.
He said the party’s constitution gives him the mandate to run the affairs until the next convention when party delegates will elected new leaders.
Mussa maintained his position was not by appointment, but rather, constitutional.
“Then it was just the two of us—me and [PP president] Joyce Banda after all had resigned. As such, according to the constitution, I automatically became the acting president. It is the constitution that mandated me,” Mussa told a local newspaper.
According to the PP constitution, in the absence of the president for whatever reasons or due to incapacity or whenever the president wishes, the duties of the president shall be performed by the first vice-president.
Reads in part the PP constitution: “Or, in the absence or incapacity of both the president and the first vice-president, such duties shall be performed by the second vice-president, or in his absence, the third vice-president.”
But PP spokesperson Noah Chimpeni said Banda has taken over the leadership and will be guiding PP on roaming. in self-imposed exile in South Africa. She has beenoutside the country since the 2014 elections that removed her and the People’s Party from power.