Some ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) senior officials are unhappy with the just-announced Cabinet and other government appointments.
Four senior PP members said on Sunday they feel betrayed as their bitter political rivals have now made it into Cabinet at their own (the PP officials) expense, claiming President Joyce Banda has not been consulting the party on crucial appointments.
But PP has dismissed the assertions, arguing whatever the President has done is to ensure the party has an effective operational strategy in Parliament.
Some senior PP politburo members are also on record supporting Bandaâ€™s inclusive move.
But speaking on condition of anonymity, a disgruntled senior PP official said: “Most of those appointed have direct rivals within the hierarchy of the Peopleâ€™s Party and none of our executive members save for the Vice-President so far has been appointed into any position. We are all left wondering what is going on.â€
The other two officials in Lilongwe claimed some of the appointments are raising fears, especially in areas where they had struggled to penetrate like Lower Shire and Nkhotakota.
“We have now Sidik Mia in Cabinet who did all what he could to frustrate us. People like Salim Bagus will tell you of such stories. You have Ken Kandodo who comes from the same constituency as [PPâ€™s] director of women Clara Makungwa,” observed another PP official.
Other senior officials visibly left in the cold include Brown Mpinganjiraâ€”a running mate to MCP’s John Tembo in 2009; secretary general Henry Chibwana; youth director Lawrence Mpofu, among others.
PP’s publicity secretary Steven Mwenye said he had not been told of any disgruntlement among the party’s hierarchy. But he said the complainants should understand the political strategy being used is to ensure that government operates, especially in Parliament.
Said Mwenye: “Perhaps we will have some civic education and explain what exactly is going on. This development is sudden and was not part of our 2014 strategy; so, we have to do things according to the situation and respond appropriately.â€
In MCP, some parliamentarians have reportedly been meeting since the Cabinet was announcedâ€”plotting their own political strategy, as they accuse party President John Tembo of striking a deal with Banda without informing them.
Said an MCP MP from Lilongwe: “There is a general feeling that our president negotiated a personal deal with President Banda. So, we are strategising….â€
Said another MCP legislator: â€œWe realise that with such kind of leadership, we will never get any opportunity as other parties have done.â€
MCP spokesperson Nancy Tembo asked those with issues with the party leadership to seek audience with president Tembo as gossiping will not help anybody.
“As long as they are speaking outside the party, I cannot comment on hearsay,” said Nancy Tembo.
Speaking to the press after the Cabinet announcement last week, some senior PP functionaries supported Bandaâ€™s move, arguing it is strategic and fosters national unity.