The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has chosen to ignore Mulanje South Member of Parliament Bon Kalindo, describing him as ‘an attention seeker the party should not waste its energy on’.
Kalindo and his party are at loggerheads after he led a ‘naked’ demonstration in Lilongwe recently for the cause of people with albinism, and the party reacted by chasing him from a rally President Peter Mutharika addressed in Mulanje on June 25.
The DPP regional governor for the South, Charles Mchacha, who dressed down Kalindo in presence of Mutharika before the legislator was asked by police to leave the podium for his security, said in an interview on Friday that the party would not bother to summon Kalindo for reconciliatory talks.
“He is not someone you can engage for talks, let him hang. If we decide to argue with him, are we going to be any different from him? He has chosen to go against the party and I don’t think there is anything we can do.
“He is the party’s deputy publicity secretary, but how many times have you seen him coming out to defend the party. Some people just hold positions but cannot deliver. What they know best is to be controversial and work against their own party,” said Mchacha.
But Mchacha reneged from his earlier position soon after the incident, when he told Nation on Sunday that the party was going to find a way forward to resolve the problem.
However, renowned Chancellor College political scientist, Boniface Dulani, has cautioned the DPP not to ignore Kalindo.
He said the party should not wish him away because he is fighting for the same cause the party is fighting—which is protection of people with albinism. Dulani argued that people may, indeed, have different ideas to a problem.
Dulani said: “Many people have supported Kalindo’s idea. DPP should have handled this matter better. In the manner the party has reacted, government may be blamed if another life is lost after handling Kalindo with heavy-handedness.”
The political scientist said the best the party could have done was to engage and convince Kalindo that the approach he took was wrong and give him a chance to express himself.
Kalindo, a comedian and an actor popularly known as Winiko in the arts industry, said in an interview yesterday that he would carry on his activism to fight for the rights of people with albinism, arguing that he is not doing that as a DPP member.
“This has nothing to do with my party. I never petitioned my party or Executive, we petitioned the National Assembly where laws are made. And during the demonstration, I did not wear party colours, a true reflection that this was not a party issue,” he said.
Kalindo said he remains a dedicated DPP member, challenging that he would always speak his mind whenever something is going wrong than to painfully join a team of hand-clappers even where “the train is taking a dangerous path”.
Mchacha and DPP secretary general, Ecklem Kudontoni, dressed down Kalindo in presence of Mutharika at the rally, saying he is not part and parcel of the party for going ahead with the ‘naked’ demonstration.
Mchacha, who is also an MP for Thyolo West, said earlier that Kalindo was dramatising a serious issue which the President, his party, government and other stakeholders were addressing by proceeding with the ‘naked’ demonstration. n