Opposition People’s Party (PP) Provincial Chairperson for the North, Reverend Christopher Ngwira, has trashed former president and PP leader Joyce Banda over the reason she gave for not returning home, accusing her of weakening the party and bringing lack of trust among the party leaders.
Banda said last week that she is not coming back to Malawi because the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has not yet provided her with a retirement house and that her security is compromised. She was expected back in the country last month and party members were getting prepared for her comeback.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Daily Times on Monday, Ngwira faulted Banda’s reasoning for not coming back, saying the reason is not justifiable because she is speaking from abroad. He said Banda’s reasoning would have carried weight if she complained while in the country.
Ngwira said party members would easily lose hope in her. He said the party members were also justified to endorse former president Khumbo Kachali as party leader so that the party continued to be strong.
“We have heard that our president is not coming. However, we are shocked because we have been telling the party supporters that she is coming to revamp the party. Now people will judge us as liars when we are not. Obviously, people will lose trust in all of us because the president is not coming,” said Ngwira.
He added: “Her complaint should have been applicable if she were in the country. She should have been here at home staying in that provided indecent house with the poor security and then complain. That could be applicable and even party members could understand. Now the party has no leadership. She is out. How can we strengthen the grass-roots and win 2019 elections without a leader?” Ngwira said.
Meanwhile, Chancellor College political analyst, Blessings Chinsinga, has backed Ngwira’s sentiments, saying political parties in the country get strong if their leaders work with the people closely within the country.
PP Acting Administrative and Publicity Secretary Ken Msonda also concurred with Ngwira but was quick to add that other leaders in the party would run it in her absence. He, however, said the party wished if Banda were in the country to help revamp it in readiness for 2019 elections
Commenting on the issue, Banda’s spokesperson Andekuche Chanthunya said the former president has personal houses as she indicated in her declared assets but the houses are not proper for her as former president in terms of security.
On whether JB is running away from Cashgate cases as has been suspected by some people, Chanthunya said Banda has never been named in any Cashgate cases and so she is free.
The party released a statement on Sunday October 31 signed by Secretary General Ibrahim Matola which backed Banda’s failure to come back to Malawi, arguing that her life would be in danger if she came back to Malawi.
But Ngwira also trashed Matola and Msonda, arguing they cannot caution Banda because they hold appointed and not elected positions.
Ngwira endorsed Kachali as the party’s interim president while Banda is out.
The PP governor was suspended from the party alongside Director of Women for the North Cliffer Kondowe for wrecking havoc at a regional meeting which was supposed to be addressed by Matola.
The two were summoned for disciplinary hearing and were later cleared of wrong doing.
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