The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday welcomed to its fold three former Cabinet ministers and a former general secretary of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Blantyre Synod.
The ex-Cabinet ministers—Ken Lipenga, Henry Phoya, Brown James Mpinganjira, popularly known as BJ, and the cleric the Reverend Daniel Gunya—were welcomed at a rally the DPP held at Lunzu Community Ground in Blantyre.
Also present at the rally were the First Lady Gertrude Mutharika, Vice-President Saulos Chilima, DPP’s outspoken secretary general (SG) Greselder Jeffrey, who led the welcoming ceremony of the four, and some Cabinet ministers including Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa, and Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi, among other DPP heavyweights.
Lipenga served in numerous ministerial positions in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and DPP before he moved to People’s Party (PP) after the death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika. His final Cabinet portfolio was that of Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development in the Joyce Banda administration.
Similarly, Mpinganjira also served in various ministerial portfolios from the UDF era, with his last position beign that of minister of Information under the PP government.
On the other hand, Phoya once served as minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in the Bingu administrateion before losing in the 2014 elections.
Gunya, however, failed to make it in the parliamentary race on a UDF ticket in 2009 where he contested for Zomba Lisanjala Constituency.
In his address, President Peter Mutharika warned that he will not allow any DPP member blocking interested people from joining the party.
He further said he wants people that are loyal, adding he will personally remove pretenders.
Said Mutharika: “I want loyalty. I do not want people who will change their colours. There are people who show certain colours when it is light but when it is dark, they change colours. I do not want those types of people; I need loyal people on my side.”
The President further said his DPP-led administration will carry on with developmental activities, citing the construction of a 186 kilometre ring road in Blantyre as being part of their plans.
Taking his turn and speaking on behalf of his colleagues after being officially welcomed into the party, Mpinganjira pledged to commit himself to DPP.
He said: “The current government puts the welfare of Malawians at heart and I will ensure that I work with it in all its activities regardless of any challenges or setbacks.”
In her remarks, Jeffrey hailed Mutharika for allowing members to join the party, saying it will help strengthen the DPP. n