Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General, Gustave Kaliwo, on Tuesday held closed-door meetings with the party’s Publicity Secretary, Jesse Kabwila and Regional Chairperson for Centre, Patrick Zebron Chilondola, in Lilongwe over disagreements that have marred the party following the suspension of seven district chairpersons.
Kabwila and Chilondola are reportedly not seeing each other eye to eye after Kabwila attacked the Regional Chairperson for chairing a meeting that unceremoniously dismissed the district chairpersons. The outspoken Publicity Secretary has also drawn the wrath of some officials from the party, especially members of Parliament after she openly faulted her own party for ‘undemocratic tendencies’.
In an interview with The Daily Times on Wednesday, Kaliwo confirmed having met Kabwila and Chilondola separately but played down the issue, saying it would be resolved soon.
According to Kaliwo, he wanted to appreciate the different views being expressed on the basis the seven chairpersons were shown the exit door.
“Our president is not around so I had to take up this matter. It depends on circumstances under which the district chairpersons are said to have been found. It’s like when someone catches his worker red-handed stealing; one can dismiss the worker forthwith or wait before making a decision.
“I’ve listened to the reasons why the committee made the decision and I’ve also spoken with our Publicity Secretary and now it is up to management to either endorse the committee’s determination or reverse it,” said Kaliwo.
The SG added that MCP president, Lazarus Chakwera, will be among a special management committee of the party which will look into the matter before passing a final verdict on the suspended members.
In a separate interview, Kabwila maintained her stand that the regional committee has no powers to act the way they did.
Said Kabwila: “Our constitution does not give powers to regional committee to fire or suspend district chairpersons, if there are issues, there are steps to be followed that ensure that both sides in the dispute are heard.
“A committee cannot be both jury and judge. The issue of the suspended members has to be taken to higher authorities. I’ve also told our SG the same thing.”
The Regional Chair, however, was not available to comment as his phone went unanswered despite several attempts.
In an earlier interview, Spokesperson for Central Region District Committee, Richard Chimwendo Banda, described the issue as an internal matter, adding that it had been referred to the National Executive Committee (NEC) for appropriate action.
But Kabwila had argued that the party needs to embrace principles of democracy by prioritizing contact and dialogue instead of silencing every dissenting view.
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