Divisions have rocked the Democratic Progressive Party in Nkhotakota North as senior party members have been fired from their positions for allegedly working with the area’s former Member of Parliament (MP) Henry Chimunthu Banda.
In a meeting addressed by the area’s MP Frank Mphande on Sunday, the gathering agreed to replace District Governor Odalakwanji Phiri, Publicity Secretary Elias Nyangazi, Constituency Governor Stanley Mandala and Constituency Secretary a Mr Zimpondera.
The four are said to be supporting Chimunthu Banda who is rumoured to harbour ambitions to contest in the 2019 parliamentary elections in the area.
“We cannot continue trusting people who are against us. These people have been going around saying this area does not have an MP which is against the law because I am a legitimate MP till 2019. Instead, they have chosen to work with someone who is aspiring to contest. So that is why we called for this meeting so that people should agree what to do and in the end we have agreed to fire them from their positions,” Mphande said.
He said all was well in the party and that the firing of the members was only aimed at strengthening the party.
When contacted, Phiri admitted that they had been representing Chimunthu Banda when asked to do so.
“It is not that we have been working against the party but we made the decision to side with Chimunthu Banda because our MP has been nowhere to be seen since elected into power. He has not been available to perform party duties, so if the MP is not available to his people then such an area has no MP,” Phiri said.
Chimunthu Banda quit active politics after losing to Peter Mutharika as a DPP presidential candidate, claiming that he wanted to go on a five-year sabbatical leave. But the former Speaker of Parliament has reappeared this year when he has been spotted in government and party functions addressed by Mutharika.
Rumour is rife that Mutharika wants to feature Chimunthu Banda either as his running mate in 2019 presidential elections or as the DPP’s torchbearer in that election. But Chimunthu Banda has always said he has not decided his mind on next move in politics.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues