..risks being barred at Convention
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) faction working to oust President Lazarus Chakwera from seeking re-election as party leader says just as with affairs of the state, the President has failed to lead the party.Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Investigator Magazine in Lilongwe, a very senior party official who is part of the group that has backing of MCP financiers, said Chakwera is detached from the party.”He has run twice as MCP candidate. We accepted the 2020 since it was re-run of 2019 elections. But now he is officially barred and nobody is talking of amending the party constitution to allow him run again.
The guys is detached he will be suprised,” said the official based in Lilongwe.The group, he said has already approached several candidates inside and outside the party who can take over from Chakwera.”Too many blunders, very poor performance, Dr Chakwera can’t win the next election. Unfortunately, the way we have treated Vice President Saulos Chilima, no sane party would want to partner with MCP with Chakwera at the helm,” said the veteran politician.He dismissed suggestions that the grouping was formed out of anger after being left out, saying Chakwera has had no time for MCP officials but “Pastors and Reverends” who have no political experience.”He has his family and friends as key advisors.
Even Einshower Mkaka (The Secretary General) was never reachable. So I don’t see anyone campaigning for Chakwera,” he said.Another member of the group said without pushing for amendment to allow him to run, Chakwera will not be automatic MCP candidate but he needs a convention to amend the party Constitution.”The President focus has been on Lilongwe West, Mchinji and people he just brings. People like late Sidik Mia and Late (Lingson) Belekanyama used to get in touch with the party.
Now the President and his Secretary General have no following. It will be difficult for him to get anything if a strong candidate would emerge,” added a district chairperson from one district.He said MCP structures like Areas, branches and Districts now rely on individual party officials mainly MPs as the President invited unknown people to “wine and dine” with him after winning elections.”MCP officials are only needed when there is a rally. People like Richard Chimwendo and Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo have supported people in all districts. The rest of Ministers and officials only work in their constituencies. If someone will challenge Chakwera he won’t pass. Very few party officials talk nice things about his leadership of the party,” said the official.
The party is almost non existent in some districts where there are no parliamentarians and it has had no programmes for its grassroot officials.The Investigator reached out to a Cabinet Minister who is being mentioned as possible successor of Chakwera he refused to comment or have his name published.Two other people outside the MCP including Vice President Chilima is said to being considered by the rebel group being championed by MPs and officials from Lilongwe, Dowa, Dedza, Salima and Nkhotakota.We could not verify whether some of the recently sacked Ministers were sacked because of being suspected to be part of the group.However, one of the main financiers of the party is said to be entertaining the group and some of party media team members.