By Staff Writer
The centre can seemingly no longer hold in the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as cracks continue to widen within the party.
The party, booted out of power some two years ago largely for their impunity and nepotism that characterised its reign of almost six years, seems to be needing a miracle for it to be ‘born again’ and be trusted again for any fresh mandate.
Its disregard to the country’s laws remains a constant feature and from the look of things, this is not stopping any time soon.
The malpractice seem to be deeply imbeded in the party’s very DNA.
The latest evidence to the claim is the fact that the party’s beleaguered Secretary General Grezelder Jeffery and its vice president for the South, Kondwani Nankhumwa, have been snubbed from attending the party’s top brass Indaba.
The Indaba is currently underway at the former President Peter Mutharika’s private home, PAGE House, in Mangochi. Not really odd for a party that has no any worthwhile national office structure befiting a party of its self-acclaimed repute and stature.
Mutharika owns the party anyway, so that is understandable. Mutharika is the party. DPP is Mutharika.
Jeffery was quoted by Zodiak Online a short while ago as to have confirmed of the meeting, meant for the party’s central executive committee of which Nankhumwa and herself are members.
Jeffrey also confirmed that she and the Vice President for the South have not been invited.
Said Jeffery: “This only proves that me and Nankhumwa are not the problem in DPP. There is a court order reinstating us on our positions, but look, they are there meeting, excluding us.”
The party’s administrative secretary, Francis Mphepo who has supposedly sent out the invitations to the top brass has not been available for a comment. Efforts to get him proved futile as he could not be reached on his mobile phone.
However, the action by DPP to snub the two is tantamount to contempt of court as the stay order from the same mandates the party to consider the two as bona-fide party members, and that they ought to have been reinstated to their respective elected positions.
The same disregard to the law was the main reason the party, that once flourished during its founder the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s reign and became an envy to many, not only in Malawi, but across the region as well, was booted out of power two years ago.
In contrast, President Lazarus Chakwera-led Tonse Alliance government rose to power on the premise of upholding the same rule of law; a thing the regime seem to stick to, to date.
In fact, the same DPP-led Opposition and other irate civil society leaders are on the forefront in criticising Chakwera for his insistence in following the law to the letter.
They argue he ought to be using his executive powers to overrule and interfere on some establishments, including legal court verdicts.
Jeffery, once a Parliamentarian for Nkhotakota South before she lost the seat in the 2019 Tripartite Election, first fell out of grace from the party as she was one of the advocates for an early party convention for the DPP to indentify Mutharika’s successor immediately after the party was booked out of power.
The move did not go down well with some old guards in the party who saw this as a ploy to ‘sell the party’.
The gurus, that included the party’s President for the North Goodall Gondwe, Henry Mussa, George Chaponda,Uladi Mussa -now a convict, Joseph Mwanamvekha, Mphepo and Bright Msaka – themselves having once gunned for the party’s leadership in their own respective rights in the past- felt Jeffery was just some decoy for some young blood who wanted to dispose them.
Nankhumwa, a Mulanje Central Parliamentarian who had to beat Henry Mussa, Chaponda, Mwanamvekha and Msaka to the party’s presidency for the South at the party’s last convention, is usually regarded a threat to the party’s ageing crop of members who clearly still have some top leadership aspirations.
These old timers have also been key on the ploy to have Nankhumwa removed from his Leader of Opposition seat in Parliament.
He angered the team recently when he released his shadow cabinet that left out the ‘elders’; opting for young blood.
Since the turn of the year, the two camps have been holding rallies in quick succession of each other; decampaigning and dissing each other as each claim to be the main deal ahead of the other.
…so much for an opposition party that still retains some aspirations to bounce back into government one day