By Lusubilo Sichali, Nyasa Times
Leaked minutes of another high level meeting held at Civic Centre in Lilongwe last Wednesday evening specifically mandated the newly appointed ruling DPP national campaign director, Zikhale Ng’oma to design effective strategy to deal with the “apparent growing popularity of the Vice president Joyce Banda and her People’s Party”.
“You are being given a specific mandate to deal with this urgent matter. As a campaign director, you must ensure damage control for the DPP, particularly in the current scenario where the vice president of the country seems to be gaining the much-needed political mileage when there only few years left before the next national elections,” reads part of the 10-page document obtained by Nyasa Times.
According to a member who attended the meeting, Zikhale Ng’oma is reported to have assured the meeting, which was chaired by Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga, that he would “do everything in my power” to “deal with the state vice president” without elaboration.
Zikhale told the meeting that he had already drawn a budget of K100 million and sent it to the president for the execution of the same.
The president had warned other members of the DPP national governing council (NGC) and cabinet during the NGC meeting a fortnight ago where Zikhale was drafted back into NGC, that “no-one should touch Zikhale Ng’oma”.
“I formed the DPP with Zikhale and none of you were there,” the president is quoted to have said.
N’goma, president Mutharika’s blue-eyed boy in the early days of his election in 2004, is renowned for a ruffian approach to dealing with political opponents. He was unceremoniously dismissed as DPP secretary general and State House Chief of staff.
But reacting to the development, PP’s national publicity director, Stephen Mwenye said his party had heard about the plans “to deal with Madam Joyce Banda” and that the DPP is busy enticing members of the PP national executive committee to resign and join DPP.
“We’ve heard about it, but we’re not shaken at all. When everything is said and done, it is the people of Malawi who are the best judges,” Mwenye said, recalling that the president recently declared that he would “smoke out” the vice president and “arrest her”.