The theatre industry in Malawi is never short of in-house drama.
Typical of the theatricals that seldom meet eyes of drama-starved public, members of various groups in Lilongwe have teamed up to oust National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) leadership now or wait forÂ disgrace at the end-of-term polls next year.
Investigations have revealed that the conspiracy started early this month and 18 disgruntled dramatists have been holding secret meetings at Kamuzu Institute for Sports (KIS) in Lilongwe.
Abuse of funds allegations
In leaked minutes from a meeting held on July 6, the taskforce members, who refused to be named, say Ntam president Ian Chisekula and his committee have â€œdone nothing apart from abusing funds, office and powerâ€
â€œWe feel betrayed by the current Ntam administrationâ€™s failure to fulfill the promises they made before being voted into power in 2010 in Mzuzu,â€ reads the statement in part.
In their campaign, Chisekula and company promised to source funding for Ntamâ€™s affiliates, enhance transparency and accountability in the associationâ€™s decision-making and ensure members have access to medical schemes.
Â Chisekula played down the allegations, saying taskforces have always been there.
He said: â€œItâ€™s not news. We are using the money allocated for its intended purposes. Thatâ€™s all. Elections are coming next year and I have not yet made up my mind whether to contest or not. I better be quiet now,â€ said Chisekula in an interview.
Central Region Ntam general secretary James Kitchen said his office has received reports about the taskforce.
â€œAs Ntam chapter, we feel the group should be patient and try to resolve the differences through dialogue. We can improve our theatre industry if we desist from greed, selfishness, jealous, oppression and undermining each other,â€ said Kitchen.
According to the minutes, the task force wants veteran dramatist Eric Mabedi of Kwathu Drama Group or former Ntam president Macarthur Matukuta of Solomonic Peacocks in the presidential seat.