Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday welcomed into its fold the mayor of Lilongwe City Desmond Bikoko who was elected as councillor on the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) ticket in 2014.
Bikoko was welcomed with pomp at a ceremony touted as a press conference which turned out to be a political rally in Lilongwe.
He was welcomed by DPP vice-president Hetherwick Ntaba and Secretary General Grezelder Jeffrey, among others.
The party also welcomed politician and former Director of Public Prosecutions Fahad Assani who lost in the election to Jeffrey in 2014 in Nkhotakota South Constituency.
Assani said he was not going to contest the constituency in 2019 because as far as he was concerned, he already had a member of Parliament (MP).
The party also welcomed a group from Democratic People’s Congress (DePeCo) including Secretary General Smolet Kachere.
Bikoko told the gathering of DPP supporters that he was not joining the party as a mayor but to support the party in developing Malawi and the city.
“As a mayor, I want to partner with someone in developing the city of Lilongwe. As a mayor my conscience is clear. I want to support what is good for the city and the decision to join DPP will allow me to put in place the 10-point plan,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of 10 people from DePeCo, Kachere said the decision to join DPP came out of the willingness to support a government in power and not just opposing.
Depeco was launched in August this year headed by Chris Daza.
Last November, DPP also welcomed a group of defectors from other political parties at Masintha Ground in Lilongwe, including former People’s Party (PP) spokesperson Ken Msonda and Zomba Ntonya MP Patrick Makina, who had been expelled from the party. Others included Binton Kutsaira, Professor Isaac Lamba and Clara Makungwa, a former director of women in PP.
DPP also won to it benches in Parliament independent MPs for Lilongwe City Centre David Bisnowaty and Mwanza Central legislator Davis Katsonga.
In May 2015, DPP welcomed Mzuzu City MP Leonard Njikho, formerly an independent legislator, as well as two councillors for Luwinga and Chibavi wards in Mzuzu. n