Malawiâ€™s ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) says although it is celebrating defection of some senior members of DPP, it is worried this may destroy the countryâ€™s democracy and create a one-party State.
In an exclusive interview on Tuesday, PPâ€™s first deputy publicity secretary Ken Msonda argued it is also possible that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top brass that is defecting to PP has seen the good leadership in President Joyce Banda.
Msondaâ€™s comments come immediately after former DPP secretary general Elias Wakuda Kamanga on Friday announced he has dumped his party to join PP.
But in an interview on Tuesday, Kamanga trashed Msondaâ€™s arguments, saying he genuinely wants to help government serve the people.
Msonda admitted that the defectors are excising their constitutional right that guarantees freedom of association and that as a party strategising for 2014 general elections, the move would prop up PPâ€™s numbers.
Said Msonda: â€œOn the other hand, truth be told, defections are worrisome. It is a threat to multiparty democracy [and] if not checked and controlled, can take us back to a one-party State.
â€œHer Excellency Mrs. Joyce Bandaâ€™s vision is to serve Malawians, rebuild the nation and restore democracy and freedom we fought [for] in 1993/94. Unfortunately, defectors are putting our democracy at a crossroads.â€
Msonda argued people should not hide behind helping government in its development agenda since members from other political parties can work with PP the way UDFâ€™s Atupele Muluzi and Ibrahim Matola as well as Afordâ€™s Enock Chihana and Khwauli Msiska are currently doing.
â€œIt does not always need someone to leave his or her party and join the ruling party to work with government. We need a constructive and focused opposition for us, PP, to serve Malawians better. Otherwise, these defections are a threat to multiparty democracy,â€ he said.
Msonda expressed fear that PP, as a party with its own policies and agenda, risks losing identity and peopleâ€™s goodwill if the defections are not controlled because the public might not appreciate the difference between the â€œrulingâ€ party and DPP.
â€˜I will go with the flowâ€™
Kamanga said he is not running away from anything, because he has not committed any crime even in â€˜ party, but only that time has come to move on politically.
Said Kamanga: â€œThe point is, we are all Malawians and those political parties are meant for the people and are made up of people and made by people and human beings being who they are. There is nobody who can claim to be a saint.
â€œWe all have weaknesses and strengths and we need to concentrate on the stronger side of a person. Itâ€™s not like I will say stop whatever you were doing in PP, I will just go with the flow and I will give advice where necessary.â€
Kamanga said he left DPP because of the African political philosophy of opposing everything government does when one is in opposition and that he wants to help in the development of the country.
Public Affairs Committee (PAC) publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali said the criss-crossing of politicians from one party to another only confirms that Malawi lacks principled leaders.
Said Munthali: â€œThe political parties must have values and these values must be fundamental. Unfortunately, our political parties have no principles and we can as well say we donâ€™t have principled political leaders. We donâ€™t need that in a democracy because we need strong political parties.â€
Munthali also trashed the assertion that one has to belong to a ruling party to contribute to the development of the country.