People’s Party (PP) acting president Uladi Mussa has accused former vice-president Khumbo Kachali of organising thugs to ambush a meeting Mussa and other senior party members planned to address in Mzuzu.
Mussa alongside PP secretary general Ibrahim Matola, vice-president (finance and administration) Ralph Jooma, third vice-president Kamlepo Kalua and other senior members yesterday travelled to Mzuzu to address delegates from the Northern Region at Anglican Hall.
Mussa and his team apparently called the regional faction under Sheborne Mchizi who replaced the fired Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira as PP provincial chair (North).
However, it transpired that a camp against Mchizi also went to the meeting venue in the company of some PP youth cadets believed to have been hired to destabilise the meeting.
The cadets chased Mchizi’s camp, but after some minutes another team of cadets came to fight those that chased the delegates.
Mussa and his team, including PP members of Parliament (MPs), were forced to seek refuge at Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Enoch Chihana’s house at Kaning’ina in the city.
However, Kalua, who is Rumphi East MP, was brave enough to go to the meeting and address the delegates. He said there is need for the warring camps in the region to unite.
He said he appreciated the pain Ngwira’s sympathisers felt. He said there was no need for the party to be divided. However, some members protested and barred him from speaking.
In an interview later, Kalua once again accused Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of creating confusion in PP.
However, Mussa, addressing journalists at Chihana’s residence, said Kachali was the ring leader in the fracas. He said Kachali is working through Ngwira to bring confusion in the party.
Said Mussa: “Right honourable Khumbo Kachali through the Reverend Mzomera Ngwira has organised thugs, not members of the party, giving out T-shirts. We know their names. These are the ones obstructing everybody chasing people right there not to attend our meeting at the hall.”
Matola said as per PP constitution, Kachali will have to appear before the disciplinary committee. He said that is the procedure, adding the party did the same when Ngwira suggested that Kachali should be acting president.
Reacting to Mussa’s allegations, Kachali said his hands were clean on the matter. He said he was not aware that people disrupted the meeting and described the disruption as unfortunate.
Kachali said he has no grudges and recognises Mussa as PP acting president and that he congratulated Mussa after the appointment.
Ngwira also said he had nothing to do with the fracas. He said the genuine regional committee was not happy that Mussa invited another camp to the meeting.
Bad blood between PP executive and its Northern Province started last August after Ngwira declared Kachali acting president in the absence of party president Joyce Banda. However, Ngwira was suspended for the declaration. He has since been expelled after stating that he stood by his position that the party needed an interim leader in Banda’s absence.
Two weeks ago, another group led by national organising secretary Salim Bagus obtained an injunction against Mussa and Kalua’s appointments. However, the High Court vacated the injunction, advising the parties to resolve the issue within the PP structures.