Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general (SG) Greselder Jeffrey has blamed chiefs in the Central Region for the low representation of ministers in President Peter Mutharika’s Cabinet from the region.
Speaking at a political rally at Kaluluma in Kasungu over the weekend, Jeffrey blamed the region’s chiefs for failing to provide DPP with more MPs.
She said it was hard for Mutharika to give ministerial positions to people of the region when only a few make it to Parliament.
In an interview yesterday, Jeffrey defended her stand.
“It’s chiefs who tell their people to support the government. That is why I begged them, would you please support our government?” she said.
Reacting to the remarks in an interview yesterday, Senior Chief Kaomba of Kasungu said he agreed with Jeffrey, adding the Central Region is suffering because of the mindset that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) owns it.
Said Kaomba: “It is high time people promoted national parties. There is no law that stops Chewa people from joining DPP or any other party. We shouldn’t promote regionalism.”
He claimed he had been talking to MCP legislators to help on leadership but “they don’t listen”.
In a recent interview with The Nation, MCP deputy SG Eisenhower Mkaka urged chiefs to be non-partisan.
“Chiefs need to understand that we are in a democracy. They must not think that everybody will belong to one party,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zomba-based political scientist Mustaffa Hussein has faulted Jeffrey’s reasoning, saying one does not necessarily have to be an MP or politician to be appointed minister.
“We have a wrong mentality that for someone to be appointed minister, they need to be a politician. That is not the case. The President can choose anybody,” he said.
Hussein also blamed Jeffrey for dragging chiefs into politics, saying it is not the duty of chiefs to produce MPs for a party.
He indicated that chiefs are supposed to be neutral to serve their subjects, who belong to various political parties, well. n