Cracks have emerged in the newly formed seven-political-party Tisintha Alliance with some New Labour Party (NLP) followers claiming that they were not consulted on the move to join the electoral alliance.
Besides, the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has also distanced itself from the alliance, saying it was never represented.
Seven parties, namely NLP, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde), New Republican Party (NRP), Republican Party (RP), Congress for National Unity (Conu), Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) and National Unity Party (NUP) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cement the alliance.
The parties were scheduled to elect their presidential candidate and running mate this week, but the exercise has been shifted to a later date due to some unforeseen circumstances.
NLP publicity secretary Henry Mkulichi said the party membership was not consulted.
He said: “The members from across the country are complaining that they have not been consulted on the alliance. It should be noted that the alliance was agreed upon at the top [executive] which prompted the members at the grassroots level to protest.”
Mkulichi claimed that party president Friday Jumbe has advised him to hold on as consultations are underway.
In a separate interview yesterday, Jumbe admitted that some people in the party were not happy with the alliance, but added that it was part of democracy that was at play.
Commenting on the alliance, Aford president Enock Chihana, who is also Minister of Sports and Youth Development, said he was just reading in the media about his party’s involvement in Tisintha Alliance, but did not know who was representing it.
Chihana claims his party is in a “loose working alliance” with the governing People’s Party (PP.)
Apart from this, Aford entered into a working relationship with People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) and National Patriotic Front (NPF)—notwithstanding an invitation extended to Loveness Gondwe’s National Rainbow Coalition.
Chihana said he only recognises the PP alliance, arguing: “The other alliances were illegally initiated by [then publicity secretary Dan] Msowoya’s camp.”
But Msowoya rejected ever initiating the alliances, saying he was in Liberia when the party’s secretariat was discussing the issue of alliances.
On the other hand, Mafunde president George Nnensa pointed out that Aford was being represented by the camp that lost in the leadership battle.
Tisintha Alliance is the only known collective electoral bloc so far ahead of the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.