People’s Party (PP) acting president Uladi Mussa on Sunday defended his appointment, saying it was in line with the party’s constitution and that no law was flouted in the process.
PP faced a leadership gap in the wake of the absence of its founding president Joyce Banda who left the country soon after losing the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.
In December last year, Banda appointed Mussa as acting president in her absence, a development that faced resistance from some PP quarters.
But addressing a rally at Makheta Primary School ground in Blantyre, Mussa said his appointment was constitutional and there was nothing Banda could have done other than appointing him.
He said: “Section 11 of our party’s constitution says when the president is away or is incapacitated it is the president who can appoint one of the vice-presidents to be acting president.
“So, in the absence of president Joyce Banda I was the only most senior vice-president around so what did you expect our president to do?”
Mussa also dismissed calls from some quarters of the party for an early convention, advising them to wait for 2017.
He said: “Calling for an early convention is not solving problems because the mistake that is made at the convention will cost the party dearly. After all, why call for an early convention [when] I am only acting, the president of the party, Joyce Banda, is coming.”
In February this year, scores of PP supporters Mzuzu demanding immediate removal of Mussa as interim leader. descended on the streets of
Speaking earlier, PP secretary general Ibrahim Matola also insisted that the party would only go for a convention when it is time to do so as stipulated by the constitution and not to fulfil the wishes of some “confused” minds.
The rally was attended by almost all PP senior officials, including Matola, vice-president Ralph Jooma, publicity secretary Ken Msonda and Betson Majoni, a veteran politician who is the PP campaign director.
Also present were Joyce Banda’s sister Cecilia Kumpukwe, director of women affairs Clara Makungwa, mayor of the City of Mzuzu William Mkandawire and his deputy Frazer Chunga.
Msonda said the coming together of the party’s top leadership was an indication that differences that rocked the party have been resolved.
But conspicuously missing at the rally was Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua, the newly appointed vice-president responsible for Northern Region.
Ironically, PP addressed the rally in Makhetha while Malawi Congress Party (MCP) had its meeting at Nyambadwe Primary School ground also in Blantyre. Two weeks ago, the two parties alongside Alliance for Democracy (Aford) addressed joint solidarity rallies in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.