Malawiâ€™s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has devised a strategy to entice some politicians into the party.
Sources claim one such target is Mzimba North MP Khumbo Kachali who was the partyâ€™s second vice-president.
But president of the Association of Political Scientists, James Chunga, has warned that for the DPPâ€™s strategy to work, it depends on the kind of politicians it is targeting.
Kachali was fired in 2010 alongside the countryâ€™s Vice-President Joyce Banda amid several allegations that included influencing a Catholic Pastoral Letter, sabotaging the docking of a barge at Nsanje Port and refusing to endorse Peter Mutharika as DPPâ€™s presidential candidate for 2014 elections.
Banda later formed her Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) with Kachali as vice-president.
Investigations into the DPP affairs reveal that the party intends to parade Kachali at a mass rally to be addressed by President Bingu wa Mutharika â€œsoonâ€ in the North. The plan to parade him last Sunday in Zomba was cancelled to give the show to Harry Thomson who had announced his joining of the party.
DPP secretary general Wakuda Kamanga confirmed Kachaliâ€™s possible comeback, but was tight-lipped to divulge details.
He said: â€œWhere have you got that information? You are really getting into our bedroom. Leave that issue to us.â€
When asked if the partyâ€™s strategy to entice politicians is working with the latest catch of Kachali after Thomson, Kamanga said: â€œYes, it is working.â€
Two DPP sources confided in Weekend Nation about Kachaliâ€™s possible comeback to DPP.
Said one source from the Southern Region committee of the DPP: â€œIt is true. Kachali is coming back to the party. He has met the bwana [Bingu] once. Not many people in the party know this because it is at top level. He will soon make the announcement at a mass rally. Of course, there are conditions attached to the comeback.â€
Another source from the national governing council (NGC) of the party said in a separate interview on Tuesday: â€œHe [Kachali] is a big fish. We are going to be happy if he comes back. Reports of his comeback started long time ago. Even during the last sitting of Parliament, his contributions showed that he had changed tune in support of government. I think he has realised that it is not easy to be in the opposition.â€
Kachali said on Wednesday that he is aware that DPP has been talking about him â€œfor some time nowâ€ but wondered whether the reasons he was fired for have changed in the party.
He denied that he would be joining DPP.
â€œI have not met anyone from DPP. I do not allow them to come to my house. Let me start all over again,â€ he said.
Chunga said on Thursday if indeed Kachali is going back to DPP, people would be justified to speculate that things are not well in the PP.
But Chunga said Kachaliâ€™s movement back to DPP would undermine the trust people have for him and other politicians who rotate in political parties.
â€œThis [movement] undermines the trust people have in oneâ€™s judgement. If you are in a party today and tomorrow you leave and castigate the party and the next day you are back to the party, obviously people should be wondering what exactly you stand for. And for leaders, this is very serious in terms of maintaining the trust people have for them,â€ said Chunga.
He wondered if the reasons Kachali was fired for from DPP had changed.
He also faulted DPPâ€™s strategy to get some politicians into the party arguing, â€œWhat would matter is what kind of politicians we are talking about. With due respect, people like Mr. Harry Thomson, I do not think it adds any value to the party.â€
Kachali, who served on several ministerial positions with the last as Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure in 2010. He was fired by the DPP NGC meeting chaired by President Bingu wa Mutharika in December 2010.