Malawi’s former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) says it will go ahead with the party’s planned convention next month despite the treason charges levelled against its interim leader Peter Mutharika and other national executive committee (NEC) members.
DPP has since appealed to well-wishers to assist by contributing towards the three-day meeting scheduled for April 17 to 19. The party says it faces a shortfall in its K56 million (about $140 000) budget.
In an interview on Friday, DPP secretary general George Chaponda said the treason charges on seven of its prominent members have not in any way disturbed their preparations for the convention.
He said: “Even those who have been charged will contest in various positions. Remember even in Kenya, the president-elect Uhuru [Kenyatta] was allowed to contest and won the elections despite being under charges by the International Criminal Court [ICC] in Hague.”
During the convention, DPP members are expected to elect the party’s president who will also be its presidential candidate in 2014 and so far, it is Peter Mutharika who has put himself forward as a probable candidate.
Mutharika is among the 10, including interdicted chief secretary to the government Bright Msaka, who were recently charged with treason for their roles during the transition in April last year following the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika.
Chaponda said DPP does not need a plan B in the circumstances.