Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor (East) Julius Paipi has joined UTM Party.
Announcing his defection in Mangochi on Sunday, Paipi said he was compelled to join UTM Party because the aftermath of the June 23 fresh presidential election that ousted DPP from government has revealed that the party has dishonest people.
“I don’t want to be associated with a party known for bad things. I have joined to augment [Vice-President Saulos] Chilima’s vision,” he said.
The former DPP regional governor pledged to use his political experience to strengthen UTM Party’s grass roots’ structures.
However, political commentator Humphrey Mvula has faulted Paipi, describing him as an “opportunist who cannot survive outside government”.
Said Mvula: “Barely a month after DPP was ousted from power, I don’t think a person who was a genuine supporter would make this stance. Undoubtedly, he is just there to achieve his personal goals.”
He also blamed UTM Party for welcoming Paipi, saying such leaders should be screened before accepting them.
But speaking in an interview, UTM Party deputy governor (East) Harvey Mwalabu said Paipi’s move shows that UTM Party is strong.
Last week, DPP vice-president (South) Kondwani Nankhumwa assembled party leaders to ask them not to shift their allegiance following the party’s loss in the court-sanctioned presidential election on June 23. n