Former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has today summoned its vice-president (South) Kondwani Nankhumwa to a disciplinary hearing.
In an interview yesterday, the Mulanje Central legislator confirmed being summoned by the party, saying hearing is scheduled to take place today.
According to a letter dated September 10 2020, signed by DPP disciplinary committee secretary Charles Mhango and addressed to Nankhumwa, the party has summoned the Leader of Opposition in Parliament following a complaint raised by the party’s deputy secretary general.
Reads the letter in part: “The disciplinary committee has received a complaint from the deputy secretary general regarding your conduct in contravention of the constitution of the Democratic Progressive Party.
“You are hereby given notice of a disciplinary hearing against you to be conducted by the disciplinary committee of the Democratic Progressive Party at the DPP National Headquarters in Lilongwe.”
In the letter, Nankhumwa is charged with four counts of disciplinary breaches. First, he is accused of undermining DPP president Peter Mutharika, contrary to Article 6 (ii) and (vii) of the party’s constitution.
It is alleged that Nankhumwa imposed himself on the position of Leader of Opposition when Mutharika had appointed Mulanje South West legislator George Chaponda, with Nankhumwa as the party’s chief whip.
On the second count of the alleged disciplinary offences, the party is accusing the legislator of conspiracy to mislead Mutharika, contrary to Article 6 (II) (v) (vii) of the DPP constitution and to the interest of the party.
The letter alleges that between July 10 and August 29, Nankhumwa together with the party’s secretary general (Grezelder Jeffrey) lied to Mutharika that members of Parliament (MPs) would revolt if his position is to be reversed.
And on the third count, Nankhumwa is accused of failing to resolve and respond to queries about his education background while the fourth count pertains to his alleged meeting with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) officials between August 1 and September 4 at former official hostess Cecilia Kadzamira’s residence.
When contacted yesterday, Nankhumwa said: “Yes it’s true, I have been summoned. Hearing will take place tomorrow [today].”
But in a separate interview, governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali said there is lack of sincerity in the alleged disciplinary offences against Nankhumwa as raised by the party.
For instance, he said if the party was sincere about his education qualifications, it would not have retained him in numerous Cabinet positions if that was a concern.
Munthali said the alleged offences are likely being used as a scapegoat for the real issues about the party’s succession wrangles.
Last month, the party also summoned its secretary general to a disciplinary hearing following her sentiments that the party should have an early convention to elect new leadership as Mutharika has played his part.
This did not go down well with Mutharika, who is said to have fumed at the sentiment during a meeting at his private retirement home in Mangochi.
Jeffrey’s views came days after DPP regional governor (North) Christopher Mzomera Ngwira admitted that some members of the party were calling for Mutharika’s replacement to start rebuilding the party.
But in his reaction, Mustapha Hussein, a political and administrative studies lecturer at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, said the fact that Mutharika took offence with the remarks demonstrated signs of political intolerance.
He said the DPP, after losing the court-sanctioned June 23 Fresh Presidential Election, needed to immediately put its house in order.