Malawi Congress Party (MCP) National Executive Committee (NEC) members are scheduled to meet in Lilongwe on Wednesday amid heightened squabbles within the party.
Over the past few months, some MCP members have been fighting their president Lazarus Chakwera over his style of leadership claiming “there are serious irregularities” in the manner he runs the party.
But the disputes come at a time when the party’s NEC, at its December 2015 meeting, already endorsed Chakwera to remain presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections.
MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka confirmed the planned NEC caucus in an interview yesterday, describing it as an ordinary NEC meeting.
But a senior MCP member privy to the NEC meeting told The Nation yesterday, high on the agenda is the issue of internal conflicts that are bringing the party and its leadership into disrepute.
“One of the key issues on the agenda is the abortive arson of the party’s national headquarters and the members who have been behind the issue of convention. According to the party’s intelligence three senior members [names withheld] are behind the incidents,” said the source.
However, Mkaka insisted that “there is nothing particular” about the Wednesday meeting.
He said: “Every NEC member has been invited, it is an ordinary NEC meeting where several emerging issues affecting the nation and to do with our party are discussed. It’s not a special meeting and there isn’t anything particular.
“The SG [secretary general Gustav Kaliwo] and I are developing the agenda for the meeting and, as we normally do, we are asking members for their input.”
According to Mkaka, the party only calls for NEC meetings depending on the availability of funds and the issues to be discussed.
This is the second NEC meeting in 2016 for the country’s oldest political party. The first one took place on February 14 where the committee resolved to, among others, fire nine Southern Region Committee senior members for allegedly assaulting the party’s second vice-president McDonald Lombola and administrative secretary Potipher Chidaya.
Last week, MCP member of Parliament (MP) Felix Jumbe, who has reportedly fallen out with his party leadership, sought police protection claiming that his life was in danger.
Meanwhile, hearing of the case in which some disgruntled party members are calling for an early convention to remove Chakwera returns to court today.
The case was adjourned two months ago after the High Court in Lilongwe observed “serious disputes” in holding a convention, and advised witnesses to be tried orally and be cross-examined.