A cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the future of some key Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials following fresh resolutions the party has made in its quest to remain relevant.
The party’s politburo met on Thursday at former president Peter Mutharika’s retirement home in Mangochi to calm down a political storm that has been rocking the party since its defeat in the June 23 Fresh Presidential Election.
The meeting appointed seasoned politician Brown Mpinganjira the party spokesperson, a position which Nicholas Dausi was elected into at the 2018 convention. Mpinganjira will be deputised by another veteran Henry Mussa.
Mpinganjira, who signed the official communiqué on what transpired in Mangochi, confirmed his appointment in an interview on Friday.
“Of course I was not there [at the meeting] myself, but yes, I got communication to that effect,” said Mpinganjira who said he authored the communiqué in his capacity as the party’s new spokesperson.
But the resolutions have created some confusion, especially the appointment of the new party spokespersons which contradicts the party’s own statutes.
For instance, the party’s 2018 elective conference chose Dausi as its publicity secretary while Grezelder Jeffrey was elected secretary general.
But Mpinganjira was at pains to explain Dausi’s role in the new set-up, arguing the Mwanza Central parliamentarian was not replaced.
“No, he remains our publicity secretary. Our appointment has been made just to focus on speaking for the party. In fact, both me and my deputy will be reporting to Honourable Dausi,” he said.
When contacted to comment on the matter, Dausi referred this reporter back to the party’s newly appointed spokesperson.
“Ask him, he may have details,” he said before cutting the line.
On the other hand, Jeffrey’s recent media remarks, calling for an early elective conference to identify a new leader suggesting that Mutharika has done his part and the resignation of Ben Phiri from his post as director of elections in the party, prompted the DPP politburo to call for an emergency meeting to map the party’s future.
According to Mpinganjira’s communication, the Mangochi closed-door meeting that lasted about five hours, resolved to subject Jeffrey to a disciplinary hearing for her actions.
In a separate interview, Jeffery sounding cautious in her comments revealed that she was ready to face the committee which the party’s former vice-president for the South George Chaponda chairs.
Said Jeffrey: “It is good that the party has accorded me a chance to be heard over the matter. Otherwise, I am still the party’s SG and I am going nowhere. I love Professor [Mutharika]. I have always been loyal to him all along and he knows it. But for now, let me not say much.”
She could also not confirm whether she made it to the meeting, though media reports on Thursday indicated that Mutharika was angered by her earlier media outburst.
The emergency meeting came at a time when the former governing party has also been hit with a mass exodus of members, including legislators who are defecting either to the Malawi Congress Party or its main alliance partner UTM Party.