Outspoken Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kaluwa has quit People’s Party (PP) and has since asked Speaker of the National Assembly to allocate him a seat as an independent legislator.
The MP, who rose to the position of vice-president responsible for the North in the previous PP national governing council, cited tribalism as his reason for resigning from the party.
Kalua’s letter which Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara read in the National Assembly yesterday, said he had resigned as a member of PP and Deputy Leader of PP in Parliament with immediate effect.
Reads the letter in part: “The decision to resign from the party has been well meditated and consulted to serve the interest of both the party and myself. The current political environment in the party appears to be hostile towards me, speculations towards my affiliation and some unhonoured agreements between myself and the party have led to the decision.”
But in an interview after the House adjourned for the day, Kalua said he moved out of the party because of poor leadership and claimed that he was sidelined.
He said: “PP is full of tribalism. They don’t want people from other tribes to associate with it. It is a party which is full of family. The president has the final say and she takes it as a survival kit.
“I am professional and I don’t want to work in a party that is family based. It has lost direction and has no future.”
But PP spokesperson Ackson Kalaile Banda dismissed Kalua’s sentiments, saying he was just “a frustrated person” because he has been left out to represent the party in the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.
“He is free to belong to any party. He made it known even before elections that he was only standing on PP ticket because that is what his constituents wanted,” he said. “He refused to lead PP in the House. He refused to be chief whip or indeed go to any other committee except Public Accounts Committee because he claimed he had a lot to reveal about corruption.”