Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa yesterday refused to attend a disciplinary hearing for his alleged breach of party protocols before a disciplinary committee.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) disciplinary committee summoned Nankhumwa who is also Mulanje Central parliamentarian and party’s vice president (South) to the meeting that was scheduled to take place at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe.
But Nankhumwa who availed himself to the meeting described the panel as unfit to preside over the matter as some of the panellists had vested interests in the party’s presidency to be contested at the next party convention and the position of Leader of Opposition.
The panel comprised former ministers George Chaponda as chairperson, Bright Msaka, Samuel Tembenu and former Attorney General (AG) Charles Mhango who is the committee’s secretary.
Speaking to DPP followers who thronged the venue and included some members of Parliament (MPs) and youths clad in party regalia and branded T-shirts with messages of solidarity, Nankhumwa likened the scheduled hearing to a kangaroo court.
Said Nankhumwa: “We did not even start the discussions because I raised the issue of the composition of the panel. It seemed like a case of a mouse being disciplined by cats.”
According to him, the allegations against him are only a distraction and that the real issue is about the party’s convention which is set to elect a replacement for Peter Mutharika as party president.
After the postponement, Chaponda refused to comment but referred Weekend Nation to the party spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira who was also not available.
Nankhumwa is being accused of four charges including: lUndermining authority of former president Peter Mutharika by allegedly imposing himself as Leader of Opposition instead of Chaponda who was said to have been chosen by Mutharika;
lConspiracy to mislead Mutharika;
lHolding meetings with members of Malawi Congress Party (MCP without the blessings of the DPP; and his alleged failure to explain controversies about his educational qualifications.