Brands group baying for her blood bad losers
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general Greselder Jeffrey has refused to resign from her position as demanded by a faction of the governing party accusing her of messing up primary elections, especially in the Southern Region.
In an interview yesterday in the wake of calls by a group calling itself Patriotic DPP Members, which is set to present a petition today to push for her resignation, she said she was elected at the party’s convention and can only quit if asked by the party’s president Peter Mutharika.
Said Jeffrey: “I have seen their demand on the social media. But what I can say is that they are disgruntled losers of the primaries who don’t even know my job description.
“I cannot resign, unless it is a call from the President [Peter Mutharika] who appointed me as chairperson of the primary elections committee.”
The grouping is demanding the resignation of Jeffrey for allegedly mismanaging primary elections to identify candidates to represent DPP in the parliamentary and local government elections in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
The primary elections have been marred by controversy, with most losing candidates protesting the results, especially in the Southern Region and against incumbent legislators.
But Jeffrey said in her capacity as chairperson of the committee coordinating the primaries, she has no powers to announce the official results. She said the committee assesses reports from presiding officers for presentation to the party’s president for approval.
She said: “After the president’s approval, honourable [Nicholas] Dausi [DPP spokesperson] will announce the official results.
Jeffrey claimed to have knowledge that some presiding officers were against her committee’s handling of the primaries because they were allegedly palm-oiled by some aspirants to tilt results in their favour.
She said: “Some of them
received money from aspirants to rig the elections, but failed because I was changing constituencies to conduct elections at the eleventh hour contrary to the official list.”
Jeffrey said her committee would meet on Monday to assess results of all primary elections and decide the way forward. She said where deemed fit, the party will organise reruns.
The grouping pushing for Jeffrey’s resignation on Wednesday met at a hotel in Blantyre to discuss issues arising from primary elections.
During the meeting, the members resolved to push Jeffrey to resign both as party secretary general and chairperson of the committee coordinating the primaries and pave the way for director of elections Ben Phiri to lead the process.
Yesterday, a DPP aspiring councillor in Blantyre who was declared a winner during the primary election said withholding the results can lead to rigging.
The aspirant said: “We are expected to present our petition to DPP vice-president for the South Kondwaani Nankhumwa tomorrow [Friday] at the party’s regional office in Sunnyside. The GS has failed to lead the elections. We are now suspecting something is fishy.”
On Tuesday, Jeffrey told The Nation that primary election results for all the constituencies have been disputed except for Phalombe South and Thyolo South West.
On Monday, some disgruntled Blantyre City West DPP members, visibly sympathetic towards former legislator Bertha Masiku, who lost to the incumbent MP Tarsizius Gowelo, marched to the party’s regional office to present a petition disputing results of the primary elections in which Gowelo was declared a winner.
On December 21, Joseph Nomale, who lost to Cabinet minister and incumbent legislator Henry Mussa in Chiradzulu East, lodged an official complaint and demanded that he be declared winner.
Chancellor College-based political analyst Mustafa Hussein observed that demanding Jeffrey’s resignation is not the right procedure as she was elected at the party’s convention and it shows that there are cracks within the party.
He warned the party leaders to resolve the differences to avoid weakening the party.