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Cracks in MCP Southern Region Committee

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Cracks have emerged in the three-month old Southern Region Executive Committee for the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) as some members are accusing the regional chairperson, Peter Simbi, of unilaterally establishing a parallel committee on party property and finances.

One of the top most officials within the committee revealed that the development has created some tension.

During the elections that the party conducted for the region in June this year, Benson Ojesi, Wilfred Dambuleni and Joseph Kangulu were elected Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer and Second Deputy Treasurer respectively.

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But Simbi is reported to have created another committee with a Ms. Edna Kuyenda, who is not part of the main committee, as chairperson.

Regional Secretary Frank Bauleni said the issue remains inhouse but could not hide the existence of disagreements.

According to Bauleni, in one of the meetings the executive members had before the August 25 by-elections in Luchenza Ward, Simbi surprised members after announcing the appointment of the Finance Committee without any blessing of other members.

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Bauleni said the committee had planned to discuss the Luchenza by-elections, financial report and the creation of Finance, Protocol, Sanitation and Disciplinary subcommittees but Simbi insisted they discuss by-elections only.

“But later, in his concluding remarks, Mr. Simbi said he had appointed some individuals to look after the party property and issues of finance. So, we wondered because he had already discouraged us from discussing such issues.

“But I can tell you that as Bauleni, I am not aware that this [parallel] committee is working. It is not our protocol that one person, can just decide to form a committee. It does not work that way,” Bauleni said.

He said he will be meeting the party vice-president for the South and General Secretary to map the way forward.

Regional Treasurer, Ojesi, who described the parallel Finance Committee establishment as just a rumour, said it is normal for any organisation to have subcommittees but so far the executive committee recognises no any committee.

“I think it was only a proposal and we are yet to sit down and discuss such a proposal. At the moment I don’t think we have a subcommittee because as an executive we haven’t given mandate to any committee. Yes, the rumours are rife about that but normally I don’t talk about hearsays but facts,” Ojesi said.

When we contacted Simbi and introduced the story to him, he told us to call him later as he was driving. He never picked any of our several calls thereafter.

MCP Administrative Secretary Potiphar Chidaya said members of the executive committee for the region have powers to appoint various advisory committees.

“But such decisions are supposed to be made by the committee. The committee must convene a meeting and make those appointments. The chairperson may have some powers to bring some individuals whom he thinks can help but their appointment has to be agreed upon by the committee.

“If it is for the fundraising we have no problem with such an arrangement as long as the committee members agree on it,” Chidaya said.

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