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Aford splinter group calls for Chihana’s head

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Friends of Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has given the party until November 30, 2015 to call for a convention or face unspecified action.

The group, led by acting chairperson Chandiwona Ngwira, argues that the party lacks visionary leadership and that the current president Enock Chihana is leading it as if it were his personal estate.

A statement from the group addressed to Chihana, which we have seen, faults the entire National Executive Committee (Nec) and all regional and district chairpersons on the way the affairs of the party are being run.

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Signed by Ngwira, Secretary Mickson Jere and committee members, the statement also says the party leadership is failing to source money for annual national conferences as stipulated in the party constitution.

“We, as Friends of Aford, want to condemn the party leadership for failing to uphold the constitution of the party by holding national conferences annually because it is that [sic] assembly where we hear financial reports, how the party is faring on the ground and other issues.

“Since you were elected into office in 2013 convention, you have never conducted such conference or held political rallies as other parties do…. Therefore, we are demanding a convention so that we correct such mistakes because that is against [sic] democracy which Aford was in the forefront fighting for,” says part of the statement.

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In an interview with The Daily Times, Ngwira confirmed writing the letter, claiming that Aford supporters at grassroots are not happy with the conduct of the leaders.

Ngwira said Friends of Aford, a grouping he said started during founder late Chakufwa Chihana’s leadership, is aimed at giving advice to the leaders by guiding them when they go astray.

Meanwhile, Aford spokesperson Khumbo Mwangulu has said Friends of Aford does not exist in the party structure.

He said the grouping has no mandate to ask for a convention because it is only Nec that can decide on the convention.

“Long time ago, we had a group called Friends of Aford, but we sat down and dissolved the group and now we are working together to rebuild the party coming. Where are these people from? Who is behind them?

“Tell them that they do not have the mandate to call for a convention because they are not in the Nec.

The president and Nec members will call for the convention if they see it necessary. Let them not disturb us because we are busy restructuring the party by recruiting other influential people who are joining us,” said Mwangulu.

Aford has only one legislator who is also the party’s president and one ward councillor in Rumphi Central Constituency.

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