Mangochi North MP Ibrahim Matola has left opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) and joined Malawiâ€™s ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) effective December 1 2012.
Matola, one of the influential MPs in Parliament, who joined UDF after winning on an independent candidate ticket in the 2004 general elections, confirmed the move in a telephone interview.
He argued he was prompted to join the ruling party because of its ideologies and policies that, he said, promote development and that he is looking forward to the 2014 tripartite elections when he will compete as an MP on the PP ticket.
Said Matola: â€œI made the decision to join PP some time back, but there were constituency consultations that I had to undertake before announcing that I have joined PP. People in my constituency have encouraged and mandated me to join the ruling party.â€
PPâ€™s first deputy publicity spokesperson Ken Msonda said he was yet to confirm Matolaâ€™s decision, but he was nonetheless happy with the development.
Msonda said Matola is exercising his constitutional right to join a political party of his choice and that more people are welcome to join PP.
Said Msonda: â€œPP has an open-door policy and as the party is strategising for the tripartite elections in 2014, more people who share our ideologies are welcome to join it.
â€œI can, however, not confirm of Matolaâ€™s joining the party because I have not received official communication, but I have only seen it posted on the social media.â€
UDF secretary general Kandi Padambo denied knowledge of Matolaâ€™s resignation from the party when contacted. He said he would be able to give more information after talking to Matola.
Matola was leader of UDF in Parliament before President Joyce Banda appointed him into her first all-inclusive Cabinet in April this year as Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change Management.
He was appointed alongside Machinga North East MP Atupele Muluzi, who has since resigned from his post as Minister of Economic Planning and Development soon after his election as UDF president and torchbearer in the 2014 presidential race.