Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general Gustav Kaliwo has maintained that the party will hold a convention from July 7 to 9 to clear their differences.
But MCP insists that the position by Kaliwo, a lawyer by profession, to hold the convention in the Eastern Region is unconstitutional and lacks the blessings of the national executive committee (NEC).
In an interview yesterday, Kaliwo said he does not know why some of his party colleagues do not want the convention to take place as this was a prerequisite of the party which constitutionally is supposed to hold conventions every year.
He said: “The convention is still on from 7th to 9th July, probably in the Eastern Region. We will hold it either in Zomba or Mangochi as MCP’s convention venues have to be rotational.
“The last time we held a convention in the Central Region, now it is supposed to be the Eastern or Northern regions, that is why we have settled to hold it in the Eastern Region.”
Kaliwo quoted Article 40 of the MCP constitution which states that district committees or the NEC are mandated to call for a convention and that in the current case half of the district committees are calling for it.
He said: “The aim for the convention is for us to iron out our differences; I think that is why the district committees have insisted on calling for the convention, it will be unfortunate if the others will not come.”
But MCP second deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka, who belongs to the faction calling itself legitimate members of MCP and sympathetic to party president Lazarus Chakwera, said the convention is unlawful; hence, no need for them to attend.
He also cited Article 39 of the party’s constitution which mandates the NEC to call for a convention.
Said Mkaka: “Article 40 which Kaliwo is using says current committee members. He is using former district committee members. So, we cannot go to a convention called by former committee members.
“In fact, at first we have to know who is calling for the convention and then decide to go. We will not attend it.”
Analysts have since described the situation in MCP as unfortunate saying the oldest party needs to follow its constitution and maintain peace.
A Mzuzu based political analyst Emily Mkamanga has said there is need for the convention to take place, but encouraged MCP leaders to reach an agreement if the party is to strategise for the 2019 general elections.
She said: “I believe a convention is ideal for the party no matter what. But, on the other hand, the other faction needs also to try to involve the other before going ahead with the convention because whatever they will speak there in the absence of their leader will not bear fruits, the two sides needs to come to an agreement and have a convention.”
Mkamanga said the party also needed to review its constitution which she described as ambiguous as both parties have conflicting articles which they are quoting from the same constitution.
Both sides have made calls for resignations of either the president or Kaliwo.
Kaliwo, who was handpicked by Chakwera after the elected SG Chris Daza left to join the People’s Party, insists that he is a bonafide member of the party, hence no need for him to resign.
Chakwera has been accused of funds abuse, corruption and dictatorship in the media. n