The former ruling People’s Party (PP) has fired its embattled acting secretary general Paul Maulidi and replaced him with former minister of Energy and Mines, Ibrahim Matola.
PP vice-president Brown Mpinganjira announced at a media briefing yesterday that Matola was elected during a politburo meeting held at the party’s headquarters in Limbe on Friday.
But in an interview yesterday Maulidi said he would challenge the decision because the meeting to replace him was illegitimate and that as far as he is concerned, he remains acting secretary general.
Mpinganjira also said the party’s politburo has confirmed Ken Msonda as publicity secretary after serving in an acting capacity since the departure of Hophmally Makande early this year.
“The party’s politburo, which is the highest body within the party, met yesterday [Friday] to discuss ways of revamping the party ahead of 2019 general elections and in the process we elected Honourable Ibrahim Matola as our new secretary general pending approval from the National Government Council (NGC),” said Mpinganjira.
Mpinganjira said Matola, a former United Democratic Front (UDF) leader in Parliament, would be deputised by Ulemu Chilapondwa as first deputy secretary general while Ireen Chikuni and Dorcas Malopa remain second and third deputy secretaries general.
The meeting also elected Ettinor Koloviko as deputy director of women affairs while veteran politician Beston Majoni, a former long-serving member of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) was elected deputy director of campaign.
Mpinganjira said it was party’s expectation that the youthful Matola would drive the former governing party to greater heights in their quest to getting back into government.
Matola said his first responsibility would be to rebuild the party by bringing back oneness and confidence ahead of their claiming back power in 2019.
However, Maulidi condemned the decision’s claiming he was still the party’s acting secretary general.
“Firstly, I am hearing it from you that I have been replaced. But let me say that I don’t know under what circumstances they have done that and as for me, I am still the acting secretary general because that meeting was illegitimate,” he said.
Maulidi claimed it was his office, in consultation with the office of the party president, which calls for a meeting and in the absence of this procedure, any meeting is unlawful.
“I believe in constitutionalism and as a party we have a constitution which was flouted. If some people have reasons to remove me, they should have told me, I am not irreplaceable, but in as far as I am concerned, I have not committed any offense and unless I am told my crime I remain the party’s secretary general,” challenged Maulidi.
Maulidi fell out of grace with PP after he defied the decision not to participate in the October 2014 by-elections where he lost in the Blantyre North Parliamentary race to Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Lucky Phiso.