Opposition Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) campaign ahead of the October 17 by-elections got a boost yesterday after Lilongwe City Council deputy mayor Juliana Kaduya dumped the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and joined the country’s oldest political party.
MCP further welcomed into its fold former deputy minister of Local Government, and Rural Development in the Bingu administration, Augustine Mtendere, and former United Democratic Front (UDF) regional governor for the Centre, John Yusuf Bhana, at a campaign rally the party’s president Lazarus Chakwera addressed at Msambati Primary School in Lilongwe City South East Constituency.
Chakwera was campaigning for MCP’s Ulemu Msungama who will be competing against DPP’s Reuben Ngwenya and independent candidates Ellen Kadango and Christopher Manja.
Speaking after welcoming the trio, Chakwera said the development shows that people are having confidence in his party which, alongside DPP, has fielded candidates in all three wards and three constituencies where by-elections will be taking place next month.
He said: “If senior members like these leave other parties and join you, you are justified to feel confident that they have confidence in you. As Malawi Congress Party, we are more confident than ever before that Malawians have hope in us.”
Chakwera also reiterated his concerns over what he called increasing corruption and the suffering of the majority of Malawians.
In an interview last evening, Kaduya—who has not been in good terms with DPP since January’s Lilongwe City Council mayoral elections—said she decided to defect to MCP because she was not welcome in the ruling party.
She claimed that during the elections, where she was voted deputy mayor to MCP’s Desmond Bikoko, some DPP officials accused her and councillor Gibson Kamdondoli Nyirenda of conniving with MCP to vote for Bikoko.
Our efforts to get a reaction from DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila proved futile as his mobile phone went unanswered last evening. n