Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members of Parliament for the South have expressed disappointment over the â€˜greedyâ€™ behaviour shown by Cabinet ministers who are declaring their support for new Head of State President Joyce Banda before the burial of late president Professor Bingu wa Mutharika.
The MPs expressed the disappointment on Wednesday during their meeting at Blantyre Civic Centre offices which was chaired by the partyâ€™s regional governor for the South, Noel Masangwi.
The meeting also discussed the participation of the MPs in the funeral programme for Mutharika, who was also DPP president. Masangwi said 26 out of the 50 DPP legislators in the region attended the meeting. The party had 54 MPs in the South, but some joined a pressure group, Hope Alliance, whereas Ndirande Central Constituency has an independent MP.
Masangwi confirmed the meeting and the disappointment expressed by the MPs. He also said the meeting agreed to visit Mutharikaâ€™s brother, Peter, to console him since he is one of the key members of the party.
â€œWe discussed a number of issues, especially giving one another [hope] following the defection of some uncultured people [anthu opanda mkhalidwe] who, unfortunately, were led by Cabinet ministers. Everybody is disappointed with the ministers. Nobody expected that to happen [ministers declaring their defections and abandoning Mutharika].
â€œWe are all shocked by the conduct of the ministers, but anyway life has to go on. We told the MPs that the party is as strong as before and that all structures are intact,â€ said Masangwi in an interview on Thursday. He said the region was looking up to the partyâ€™s national executive to take action on the ministers.
â€˜Peter still our candidateâ€™
He said Peter Mutharika still remains the partyâ€™s presidential candidate in the 2014 elections.
â€œPeter is our candidate. We in the South proposed his name and we stick to that,â€ said Masangwi.
Chikhwawa East MP Ragson Chirwa corroborated Masangwiâ€™s statements, adding that the party told them that vehicles would be available to take the MPs to Lilongwe to welcome Mutharikaâ€™s remains and then join the bereaved family.
When Mutharika died on Thursday last week, some ministers rushed to announce their support for Banda and her Peopleâ€™s Party. Some of the ministers who made such declarations are Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure Sidik Mia and his deputy Catherine Gotani Hara, Minister of Industry and Trade John Bande, Minister of Labour Luscious Kanyumba, Lands, Housing and Urban Development who is also DPPâ€™s second vice-president Yunus Mussa and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jones Chingola.
Chancellor College political scientist Blessings Chinsinga advised Banda to try new people as Malawi is blessed with more human resource.
DPP secretary general Wakuda Kamanga said yesterday that the party will meet after the burial to reflect on the events and map the way forward.