Former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has asked people that are expelled from the party to avoid using the party’s regalia, names and its Members of Parliament (MPs) during political rallies that are not sanctioned by the party’s National Governing Council.
DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a meeting which the party’s legislators had with their president Peter Mutharika in Mangochi on Sunday afternoon.
In direct reference to the Bangwe rally which was addressed by DPP Vice- President for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa, Mpinganjira said the party did not sanction or approve of the rally.
“We said to everybody that those that have been expelled from the party cannot use the party’s name and symbols at their rallies. In any case, we did not know that they had a meeting in Bangwe. Those who chose to be here did so because they are DPP and those who did not come without sending an apology know what they are,” he said.
Mpinganjira further said DPP is yet to be served with the court injunction obtained by Nankhumwa and three others who went to court to challenge their expulsion from the party.
“We are not fighting anybody as a party. We are a party which is one family and we would like all the expelled people to come back and work towards bouncing back into government. However, as a party we do not want some sections within the party to force the departure of Mutharika,” he said.
An MP who attended the Mangochi meeting confided in us that the former president wants senior party members to compete for the position of party president without giving somebody else an upper hand.
“There are three people fighting to take over from APM: Nankhumwa, Bright Msaka and George Chaponda. So the president wants a neutral person to be a Leader of Opposition so that the three front-runners can have equal footing to campaign ahead of the convention. But it seems this idea is not being accepted by some people competing for the presidency,” said the MP who asked not to be named.
But speaking at Bangwe Desert Ground, Nankhumwa said they decided to hold the rally to strengthen they party while at the same time allowing other lawmakers to visit Mutharika at his residence in Mangochi.
Various speakers at the Bangwe rally called for DPP to hold a convention so that it can choose a leader to take over from Mutharika.