Almost everyone in this country knows now that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is a party in chaos and there, and as things stand it is increasingly impossible to hope of a way out soon to end the warring and reclaim its lost glory.
The power struggle between Kondwani Nankhumwa’s led faction and Mutharika’s have gone on for far too long such that its support base is lost and they do not know which direction the party is heading. A day hardly pass without witnessing drama in the former ruling party.
It has emerged this week that the Nankhumwa faction intends to hold a mass rally at Nyambadwe School ground in Blantyre on 31 July, a move which has been protested by Southern region Governor Charles Mchacha. According to the letter which was addressed to Nankhumwa, Mchacha said the DPP Leader of Opposition in Parliament will only be allowed to conduct the stated rally in Nyambadwe upon getting the consent from the party President Peter Mutharika.
The letter reads: “Your intention to hold a mass rally on July 31 2022 at Nyambadwe School Ground is noted. You are however advised to seek approval from the President of the party, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika before you proceed with your plans as party protocol and etiquette demands. You will be allowed to hold the Mass Rally and Meet Southern Region Executive Committee only when you get such approval.”
As expected, Nankhumwa was defiant and unlike in the Leader of Opposition fiasco last month which saw the Clerk of Parliament recognizing George Chaponda as the Leader of Opposition only to be rescinded to acknowledge Nankhumwa the following morning. This was after Nankhumwa obtained an injunction restraining Chaponda from taking over as the Leader of Opposition, this time around took hours for Nankhumwa to respond to Mchacha’s letter.
In a defiant response to Mchacha, Nankhumwa said he will proceed with the rally as earlier planned. In a letter Nankhumwa indicated soon he will be having a meeting with some party officials from the region to plan for the rally.
It reads: “I write to inform you that, I have decided in my capacity as Vice President South to address a Mass Rally at Nyambadwe School Ground on July 31, 2022. By virtue of this letter I will soon be calling for a meeting of the Regional Executive Meeting to start preparations for the Rally.”
While this letter sounded diplomatic it openly ignores Mchacha’s directive for him to seek permission from Mutharika for the rally to take place. This is where things get interesting; as per party hierarchy Mchacha is supposed to carry out orders from Nankhumwa and report to him as the Vice President of the region, on the other hand Nankhumwa can only consult Mchacha on some crucial party matters but he cannot ask permission from him or be dictated. As for the holding of the meeting at Nyambadwe, it is only the Blantyre City Assembly that can restrain Nankhumwa from holding the mass rally. Of-course as per party discipline he was supposed to inform Mutharika on the meeting not necessarily asking for permission but as per that letter it appears Nankhumwa only informed the party’s regional structures of the planned rally.
And although Mchacha is the man on the ground in the southern region it seems he has little influence over the Southern region committee as the letter is explicitly saying. By indicating that he will have a meeting with the southern region committee, Nankhumwa is suggesting that he has the support of the regional committee.
As things stand, Nankhumwa seems too powerful to be silenced by people like Mchacha. He continues to gain ground both in Parliament and outside Parliament as the Mutharika camp is crumbling.