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Brown is now blue

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The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Sunday welcomed to its fold veteran politicians Brown Mpinganjira, Ken Lipenga, Henry Phoya and Reverend Daniel Gunya.
The four were unveiled during a political rally that took place at Lunzu Catholic Primary School Ground in Blantyre.
Mpinganjira was once-upon-a-time a political heavyweight in the United Democratic Front (UDF), before forming the National Democratic Alliance and later joining the People’s Party (PP) which he left after it lost elections in 2014. Lipenga was also UDF, then switched to DPP before leaving days after Bingu wa Mutharika died in 2012 to join the PP. Phoya also first got a parliamentary seat on UDF ticket, then joined the DPP before briefly joining the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Gunya contested and lost parliamentary elections on UDF ticket.
However, political analysts Ernest Thindwa and Mustapha Hussein have said the four may not add value to the party, arguing that they do not stand firm on principles.
“They may add value but the value may not be spectacular in the sense that they are looked at as recycled politicians. They were in politics and people know them, people know what they do and their old stories. Perceptions may suggest that DPP is attracting heavyweights but these are recycled politicians whose value may be limited because they are recycled politicians,” he said.
Thindwa said people may be joining the ruling party for their own benefit if they are harbouring ambitions of contesting in the forth-coming general elections.
“They are coming from areas where DPP is strong and, contesting on any other party [ticket], they may not stand a chance to win. They are only being strategic.
“However, it is not surprising. They have been politicians and they cannot claim to have a [good] track record; they move from one party to the other so they are what we call people who change party depending on their situation,” he said.
In his welcome remarks, President Peter Mutharika called for unity and coexistence with anyone who joins the party.
“I do not want the spirit of sidelining each other in the party. If I hear you are in the forefront of wanting to frustrate others, I will remove you. If you want us to win [the next elections] we should start working together. We have people who are Judases in the party; they should leave. I want loyalty. Do not wear a blue cloth during day time and another colour in the night,” he said.
Political parties, particularly the DPP and the MCP, seem to have engaged into an election gear with both luring renowned politicians to boost their profile.

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