Scores of Peoples Party (PP) supporters on Monday descended on the streets of Mzuzu to demand the immediate dethronement of Uladi Mussa as its interim leader, climaxing a relentless wave of infighting in the party.
Power struggles have been raging in the former ruling party since the disappearance of its leader, former president Joyce Banda, who left the country and started living abroad after losing in the May 2014 Tripartite Elections to current president Peter Mutharika.
However, the wrangles have escalated into shockwaves of alienation following the appointment of caretaker Mussa, who recently fired Northern Region provincial governor the Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira from the party and replaced him with Sherbone Mchizi.
The marchers, who thronged Orton Chirwa Highway singing anti-Mussa songs, demanded an immediate end to Mussa’s rule and the tendency of handpicking people to executive positions.
“Mussa must step down forthwith. We, party members in the North, are sick and tired of this tendency of imposing leaders on us. Mussa was not elected at the convention, so he has no powers to fire people who were duly elected by the people. Only the party members can fire Mzomera,” said provincial secretary Clive Nthakomwa.
Apart itching for powers to hire and fire party leaders, the faction is also petitioning that the caretaker presidency of the party should go to former Vice-President Khumbo Kachali who was elected Banda’s number two responsible for party operations at the party’s convention in 2013.
However, Khumbo—who willingly relinquished the position having backed the Democratic Progressive Party leader Mutharika’s race to presidency—maintains a laid-back approach to the top seat, saying he is only back to help rebuild the party.
The wave of alienation hit a new low recently when a group linked to Ngwira banished Uladi and beat up his supporters in Mzuzu.
The invasion of Mussa’s meeting by the faction is the reason the party used to fire Ngwira who previously announced Kachali as the rightful person to lead the party while the former president is away.