Some DPP members are reportedly unhappy with party secretary general Elias Wakuda Kamangaâ€™s apology to President Joyce Banda in the eulogy he made at the late president Bingu wa Mutharikaâ€™s burial.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, Kamanga, while confirming he was aware that some people were not amused by his statement, defended the apology, claiming it was a representation of the partyâ€™s position.
But some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sources earlier said the apology received mixed reactions from the membership because some people still want to pursue politics of confrontation and not the unified type as advocated by Kamanga.
Said an inside source: “You know, some people are failing to accept that things have changed and they still want to go on with the confrontational type of politics which we saw in recent years.
“In fact, there was fear that the secretary general may be attacked for saying what he said. Some people who want to stick to the old politics wanted to incite the youth, but the sooner they realise that things have changed, the better.â€
Kamanga, whose eulogy was evidently apologetic and reconciliatory, said he was aware that some people are not pleased with what he said, but he said it is out of misunderstanding. He also said he did not expect to please everybody.
â€˜Apology not contradictoryâ€™
He said he did not consider his apology contradictory to the partyâ€™s acting president Peter Mutharika whose eulogy was viewed by many as emotional. He told DPP loyalists that he would ensure the party does not die no matter what happens.
Apart from thanking Banda for giving the former president a respectful send-off, Kamanga pleaded for forgiveness for wrong things party members may have done or said while the late Mutharika was alive.
“When everything was fine with us, when our president [Bingu wa Mutharika] was alive, we said things that hurt you. We did things that did not please you. I want to ask you Madam President to forgive us.
“We know that we did a lot of bad things to you. I want to ask that as Binguâ€™s casket is being interred today, let all those things be buried with him,” said Kamanga at the funeral.
He maintained the statement he made was for national building and that he has received a lot of support from senior party officials although some pockets within DPP are not happy.
“I was speaking on behalf of the party and when you speak at such a place, you will make a mistake to think that everybody will be happy. But my speech was for national building.
“I know that some people are not happy, but itâ€™s just out of misunderstanding because a lot of people are still phoning me saying the speech was very good and timely,” said Kamanga, who said he had received over 100 text messages congratulating him on being bold.
On the future of DPP, Kamanga said there would be an all-inclusive National Governing Council (NGC) meeting to take stock of how the party has previously performed and map the way forward.
Asked to comment on the Presidentâ€™s stand that she would like to work with a lot of people, including those in Mutharikaâ€™s Cabinet, Kamanga said he would not want to say anything until a new Cabinet is named.
Chancellor College associate professor of political science Blessings Chinsinga said the contradictory speeches at the funeral only exposed the fact that DPP is far from being an institutionalised organisation.
â€˜Peter is not a seasoned politicianâ€™
He said Kamanga showed that he is a seasoned politician who understands that for the party to move on, it has to acknowledge the mistakes it made.
“This only shows that Peter is not a seasoned politician and if he wants to pretend that everything was rosy, it will be difficult to move forward as a party. If they leave the party in the hands of Peter, then it is going to die because you need a seasoned politician to steer it forward,” said Chinsinga.