Former vice president Cassim Chilumpha is putting up structures for a political party—People’s Assembly for Democracy and Development (PADD), it has been confirmed.
Sources told The Daily Times that Chilumpha has been working on his party since the last general elections.
“Actually, they had another planning meeting at Bvumbwe, two weeks ago. The last one was in Lilongwe a few days ago,” said the source.
Party’s interim Secretary General Levy Luwemba confirmed the formation of the new party in an interview on Wednesday.
“Our interim leader is the former vice president. We are working on registering the party as we have seen that there is space that needs to be filled on the political landscape,” Luwemba said.
He said the party is being built on the premise of devolution of power and creation of a strong national economy.
“The party is there to promote democratic and open government. We want to create a strong economy based on free enterprise. We have also seen that there is no decentralisation in running of government affairs,”he said.
According to names that we obtained from our source, Chilumpha is pulling his interim team from all political parties. But Luwemba refused to confirm the names, saying “we shall advise very soon”.
Chilumpha was elected vice president responsible for the Central Region for the then ruling People’s Party (PP) but resigned. He was replaced by Uladi Mussa. But Luwemba is still PP National Executive Committee (Nec) member.
PP spokesperson Ken Msonda maintained a statement he made soon after his party lost power that the defections are “political pruning”.
“I need to find out if Mr Luwemba resigned from PP. It is a constitutional crisis that we should address as a nation. How can a person join a party before resigning from his party. In some cases, we have seen a whole party except one or two people defecting,” said Msonda, adding “for honourable Chilumpha, it is his constitutional right.”
Chilumpha, a senior counsel and an academic, joined active politics serving as a United Democratic Front (UDF) Member of Parliament and its secretary general. He also served in different cabinet portfolios in the Bakili Muluzi administration. In 2004, he contested as a running mate to the then UDF presidential candidate Bingu wa Mutharika and went on to become State vice president following Bingu’s victory. He fell out with Bingu after serving one term and was put under house arrest on treason charges. Chilumpha teamed up with former president Joyce Banda and formed the former ruling PP but resigned from the party within a short period.
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