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Joyce Banda fired as PP president

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The opposition People’s Party regional committee, district executive committees and some Members of Parliament in the northern region yesterday fired former president Joyce Banda as its party’s president and replaced her with former vice president Khumbo Kachali.

The leaders said they declared Kachali as new president for the party because it lacked leadership. The declaration was made during an emergency meeting held in Mzuzu.

PP Provincial Chairperson and Member of Parliament for Mzimba Hora Christopher Ngwira started by apologising to the party leaders in the region following their failure to be active since the party lost elections last year.

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“We are sorry that we failed as leaders to lead the party after losing elections last year. Now we have come to apologise but we are coming with full force. This party lacks leadership and Honourable Khumbo Kachali is the only mature leader to lead this party to 2019 elections,” said Ngwira.

Ngwira said the other regional committees in the South, Centre and East have also endorsed Kachali.

“Somebody claims to be a leader but is failing to lead the party. He was given a cabinet minister position and a police officer but now he is nothing,” said Ngwira apparently referring to Ibrahim Matola who once served as minister in Banda’s cabinet.

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Added Ngwira: “Look, Khumbo still has a police officer to guard him meaning that he is qualified. If other regions decide to feature their presidential candidate at the convention, then we as northerners say Khumbo is the only person to revamp the party.”

Kachali, who attended the meeting, avoided commenting on his new position but quickly said he was ready to take it after the party followed all procedures to have him as president of the party. But he said he was happy that many party members were behind him.

As Kachali arrived at the meeting dressed in a black suit with a red necktie, the party’s youth chanted: Khumbo Kachali Boma! diverting from their usual chanting where they praised Joyce Banda.

All district governors were given a platform to speak and they endorsed Kachali.

Matola who is PP Secretary General said he did not know anything when we called him for his comment.

Chancellor College political analyst Mustapha Hussein described as chaotic the action by the PP members to fire Banda without following procedures. Hussein said the members’ mandate over the action would be questionable.

“That was a chaotic process of deposing a leader and it is unheard of. PP is a registered party which has a constitution. I do not think a group of PP supporters and members can just meet and fire president of the party. Their mandate would be questionable. Their action amplifies regionalistic tendency. The constitution should be followed,” said Hussein.

However, Hussein blamed the former president for creating lack of trust among her followers for her continued absence since losing the May 2014 tripartite elections.

Banda’s spokesperson Andekuche Chanthunya said he needed time to consult his boss for her position.

Towards the May 20 2014 elections, Kachali campaigned for the then opposition Democratic Progressive Party after Banda picked former Industry and Trade minister Sosten Gwengwe as her running mate.

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