The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday once again poked its nose into the affairs of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) by claiming that MCP is a parasite poaching members from PP. DPP, therefore, argues that the ‘alliance’ between the two parties is in bad faith.
DPP secretary general (SG) Griezeder Jeffrey likened the alleged alliance between MCP and PP to that of a snake and a guinea fowl, where the former always wants to steal from the latter.
But the two parties have since disputed the claims, stating the DPP is living in a world of fantasy and must mind its own business.
Jeffrey was speaking in Chitipa where President Peter Mutharika officially commissioned the Chitipa Water Supply project which had been partly financed by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa ($10 million; about K7.3 billion) and the Government of Malawi ($3 million; about K2.2 billion).
Said Jeffrey: “Mr President, you have done a lot of things in Malawi, but opposition members don’t want to appreciate. I want to tell them today, I hear MCP and PP have formed an alliance, but…
“It is like the relationship of a snake and a guinea fowl. You know the guinea fowl left for America to look for food, but the snake at home is busy preying on the little ones. They have taken [Sidik] Mia and [Mzuzu City] mayor [William Mkandawire] and yet they say they are in an alliance. So, by the time the guinea fowl returns, all the children will have been eaten by the snake.”
Ironically, Mia and Mkandawire recently defected to MCP and were once senior members of the former ruling PP, while former president Joyce Banda, who founded PP, has not been in Malawi since losing the 2014 elections.
And Jeffrey, who has made it her trademark to attack the opposition since becoming SG, said the two parties are thus not adding any more votes to their parties because the faces joining MCP are those from its partner PP.
During the rally she introduced three people who have defected from MCP and PP, led by former Karonga District Council chaiperson Patrick Kishombe of Karonga North West (formerly PP).
She added: “In DPP, many people are joining and nobody is leaving. We are receiving people from MCP and PP, but these two parties say they are in an alliance, yet they are taking members from each other. Does this even make sense?”
Chitipa South parliamentarian Welani Chilenga was also unveiled not as joining DPP, but pledging to work with the ruling party.
DPP vice-president for the North Goodall Gondwe also took a swipe at PP, accusing it of defrauding government during its two-year tenure.
“Some people borrowed this government for two years, but after leaving, they left it bankrupt. When the DPP returned to power, there was nothing in government. We have seen many development projects coming, a new airport in Mzuzu, roads and water projects. So Peter [Mutharika] is the real deal. Let us support him, I plead with you so that in 2019 he should also get re-elected,” he said.
But MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka laughed off the claims, stating the DPP is living in a world of fantasy, where it is always going to town without facts.
He said: “That is not strange because they have been commenting or saying things that we do not know. They are alleging that MCP has been bought for K200 million, something that we don’t know, and today they make that claim, something that we don’t know. Mind you, Mia resigned from PP before 2014 elections. I guess Jeffrey does not live in Malawi to know this.
“There is no relationship between MCP and PP, and if they are aware of the said relationship, let them show it. But as far as the party is concerned, we are not aware. The fact of the matter is if MCP were making a mistake, DPP would be celebrating in silence as that would give them leverage. Unfortunately, they have become crybabies for issues happening in MCP. That just shows that we are moving forward.”
On his part, PP administrative secretary Joseph Chikwemba urged the DPP to mind its own business, saying his party is disappointed with the ruling camp’s continued meddling into opposition affairs.
“First, we want to make it known that PP and MCP are two different parties with different ideologies. Members of the two parties are free to cease to be a member of one party and join any party and as a lawmaker she should be the first to understand the laws that govern political parties [especially] that everyone has freedom of joining whichever political party they want.
“We have attended MCP fundraising events before and we have had joint political rallies before and we wonder why she is feeling very uncomfortable with the Ngabu rally. We, as PP, respect DPP and UDF alliance and we understand it’s their political right to do so, why is she panicking with MCP and PP having joint rallies?” n