The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has described Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) claim that it has not been invited to PAC’s Sixth All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference as mere ploy to seek public sympathy.
The quasi-religious organisation and governance watchdog is scheduled to start the two-day conference at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre today.
However, yesterday some DPP members, led by Central Region vice-president Heatherwick Ntaba and the party’s secretary general Jeffrey wa Jeffrey told members of the press in Lilongwe that they were disappointed that PAC has not invited the ruling party to the conference.
Ntaba said his party was shocked and full of sadness with the way PAC has handled the conference invitations.
“We have noted with disbelief the deliberate efforts to sideline the DPP and ensure non-participation of the party at the conference. While we hear reports of other political parties being invited, PAC has not sent any invitation to DPP.
“As such, communication is supposed to be received by the secretary general who sadly up to this moment has not heard anything from PAC,” he said.
Among other allegations, the party also accused PAC of creating a platform for the opposition to discredit the DPP and government.
“We have strong evidence that PAC, the opposition and other anti-government activists are part of a political scheming against government and planning a demonstration. Our strong intelligence confirms the evil plans where over 300 people will break into spontaneous protests,” said Ntaba.
The party also accused PAC of lack of accountability and changing into a political party which has allegedly led to the withdrawal of support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
However, PAC denied the allegation, saying UNDP still funds its programmes.
PAC chairperson Fr Peter Mulomole told The Nation in an interview that the DPP just wanted to buy public sympathy.
“It is not true that the party was not invited, and we wonder why they are saying so.
“It is unfortunate that they think we are anti-government. We only speak for the benefit of the nation. Picking a war with us is uncalled for,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mzuzu-based political commentator Emily Mkamanga has described the move by DPP as a ploy to seek public sympathy, saying the DPP needs to work with others without creating unnecessary attention.
“I don’t think PAC can really fail to invite a party in power to its meeting. What DPP is doing is just buying public sympathy; or they have their own motives. PAC is for the people, hence it is not good to politicise it,” she said. n