Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president John Tembo says he would not accept his political nemesis Gwanda Chakuamba back into the MCP, calling him a political vagabond.
Briefing journalists after Chakuamba’s announcement that he has rejoined MCP, Tembo said one of the major reasons for not accepting Chakuamba’s membership is that he is a member and president of another political party, the New Republican Party (NRP).
Said Tembo: “A vagabond is not welcome in the MCP. In the MCP, we want members, not vagabonds.”
He said the one-time MCP president, Chakuamba, knows all the procedures of joining the party after being its long-time member and leader. He said the procedure does not include joining a party through a press conference.
“I am president of MCP and he [Chakuamba] is president of NRP. One of the issues is that an MCP member must not belong to another political party. Why can’t he come to sort out his membership first, then we will assess his position. But a vagabond is a vagabond, [he] will never change,” said Tembo.
The MCP president said that he has neither received a letter from Chakuamba nor talked to him about the membership.
Tembo has so far indicated that he will vie for the party’s presidency during the forthcoming convention despite his not having known challengers, but he quickly dismissed suggestions that his position on Chakuamba is for fear of facing formidable competition.
But in an interview later, Chakuamba said he has resigned from NRP, hence eligible to rejoin MCP.
He said: “I have resigned from NRP. I am no longer a member and I have automatically ceased to be a member of NRP. I am joining MCP as an ordinary member.”
On vagabond remarks, Chakuamba said: “I am not a vagabond and I will not be. I am free to join a party of my choice that is MCP.”