Some delegates to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) convention have accused the camp of acting president Peter Mutharika of threatening and trying to bar them from attending the indaba.
The threatened delegates include members of the party’s national governance council (NGC) and Members of Parliament (MPs) seen to be loyal to one of the presidential aspirants, Henry Chimunthu Banda.
Among those who confirmed to have received the threats are Kasungu South East MP Grayson Bokosi Khamba, Ntchisi North West MP Herbert Bimphi, regional campaign director for the Centre, Reverend Leonard Chaunga, and Central Region organising secretary Mrs Kaluzi.
Khamba and Bimphi, who were gunning for the positions of national youth director and secretary general respectively, have since withdrawn from the race following the threats. The two confirmed their predicament yesterday.
However, Khamba said despite the threats and the marred process, he will still go to the convention which starts this Wednesday in Blantyre.
Chaunga also confirmed that he was told through one of the regional executive members, Eckileni Kudontoni, that he was not welcome to the convention.
“Actually there are several of us from the Central Region and in Nkhotakota to be particular who have been told not to go. Among them is also the regional organising secretary Mai Kaluzi,” he said.
The threats and reports of some of the delegates being barred also come amid Chimunthu Banda’s concerns raised in his letter dated April 9 2013 to the organising chairperson of the convention, Nicholas Dausi.
The issues raised in Chimunthu Banda’s letter include the reduction of the constituency delegates from nine to three; the delays in the accreditation of delegates; and the management of the voting process.
Chimunthu Banda, who is also Speaker of the National Assembly, also raised the concern about the party deliberately creating a battle field in the Central Region by not amending a provision that the vice-president and secretary general would come from the region despite his decision to contest as president as well.
Dausi in an interview acknowledged that he received the complaints from Chimunthu Banda and said some of the issues are being worked on.
“Some of the issues raised by the Speaker were not correct, but we discussed. As for the areas we are working on I will be communicating directly to the Speaker,” he said.
In a related development, DPP Central Region governor Frank Katundulu, who was suspended from the party for allegedly supporting Chimunthu Banda, has obtained a court injunction stopping his suspension and the court ruling that he is free to attend the convention.