Former governing Democratic Progressive Party has missed the October 30 2020 deadline set for its Functional Review Committee to lay the foundation for the party’s rebuilding after losing the June 23 Fresh Presidential Election.
The development will likely affect when the party can hold its elective convention to vote in new leadership, DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira said in an interview in Mangochi yesterday.
The Functional Review Committee was commissioned to carry out the exercise after the party’s president Peter Mutharika lost the court-ordered election he repeatedly describes as a “judicial coup” after a five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court overturned his May 21 2019 re-election over anomalies. The decision was upheld by a seven-member panel of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.
Mpinganjira said on the delay: “We thought the [Functional Review] committee would have been done with the assignment by the said date, but there is a lot which needs to be done. They are still receiving feedback from people from ground.”
The Functional Review Committee the party tasked to submit its findings on the party ’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats on the ground.
Mpinganjira said the committee has since engaged consultants who will from next week Wednesday go on the ground.
He said: “The work begins next week Wednesday to meet all party structures and we will advertise in the newspapers so that people should follow what is happening in DPP family.”
Mpinganjira said the consultants will later present to the party leadership their findings which will enable DPP to be in a position to call for an elective convention.
“We still have time to go before the convention takes place because we want to have an excellent convention,” he said.
Mutharika sanctioned the functional review team amid calls from some party members, including secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey for a convention to replace him.
But the country’s former president told the media two weeks ago that while he will not contest at the party’s convention, he wanted a proper transition and that he would not leave DPP to someone who would “sale the party to the highest
Squabbles and toxic relations in the party came to light after Jeffrey’s media comments and the reaction by the party’s legislators to reject Mutharika’s preferred choice for Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP) Francis Kasaila—who is Nsanje Central member of Parliament (MP). Instead, the legislators voted for Mulanje Central MP Kondwani Nankhumwa
whom Mutharika accused
of imposing himself in the position contrary to his instructions. whom Mutharika accused
DPP replaced Nankhumwa with Chiradzulu Central MP Joseph Mwanamvekha as vice-president (South). But Nankhumwa, Jeffrey and Mulanje West MP Yusuf Nthenda obtained a court injunction against their removal from the party.
Yesterday, Mutharika hosted DPP district governors from the Southern Region Committee at his beachside residence in Mangochi. In attendance at the meeting alongside Mutharika were Mpinganjira, organising secretary Chimwemwe Chipungu, administrative secretary Francis Mphepo, Samuel Tembenu and Mwanamvekha.
Top on the agenda was the governors’ support for Mutharika and the party.
Briefing journalists after the meeting yesterday, Chiradzulu DPP district governor Mapeya Kaliwo, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said they were behind Mutharika and dismissed reports the party was divided.
He said: “We came to this place is to re-affirm our commitment and support towards Mutharika.
“After feeding him what is on the ground, we have discussed so many things that will help to build the party.”
In interviews with our sister newspaper Weekend Nation on October 31 2020, political and governance analysts faulted Mutharika as being the architect of the chaos in DPP for allegedly failing to bring about inspiration since losing the June election