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Khumbo Kachali to contest at People’s Party convention

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Former Vice President Khumbo Kachali says he is too young to quit politics and has planned to contest for a position in People’s Party (PP) next convention.

Kachali revealed this when responding to questions from Brian Banda, host of Times Exclusive programme which airs tonight from 8:30pm on Times Television.

“Do you know how old I am? I am not even 50. I am a politician. I have to continue as a politician,” Kachali said.

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He added:

“I am a politician, an accomplished one. I’m still active in politics, very active. I have a part to play in Malawian politics. This is not time for retirement, not yet. I’m still young, I still have the energy to serve my country in any capacity,” he said.

When asked what position he would like to contest for during PP convention, Kachali refused to answer.

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“Brian, I don’t answer hypothetical questions. But let the convention come, you will see me there. You will see me there at the convention,” Kachali said.

He added: “I am a member of the People’s Party. Anything, any position that members of the People’s Party would like to give me, I’m willing to take,” Kachali said.

He also said his endorsement of President Peter Mutharika prior to 2014 elections did not mean that he had joined the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). He, however, said he did not regret supporting Mutharika in the elections.

PP last held convention in 2012. It is expected to hold another convention next year.

But with its president Joyce Banda currently out of the country, leadership turbulence has emerged in the party.

Recently, National Organising and Secretary, Salim Bagus, and four others obtained a court injunction restraining Banda from appointing Uladi Mussa as interim leader and Kamlepo Kalua as third vice president.

Some quarters in the party have attributed the current leadership problems to Kachali’s ambition. But in an interview, he distanced himself from what is happening.

When asked if he recognises Mussa as interim leader of PP he said:

“So I hear, Yes. I have been told. That he is the interim president of the People’s Party. Let us respect the leader who is there because as you have said, he is just interim leader. When we go to the convention, we will settle for the leader who is going to be our torch-bearer. If Uladi Mussa is elected president in 2017, we will support him. If Joyce Banda is re-elected, as party president in 2017, we will support her.”

Former PP Northern Province chairperson, Christopher Mzomera Ngwira, has been openly garnering support for Kachali and when asked what he thought about Ngwira’s actions, Kachali said it was his choice.

“Brian, we are all politicians. Any politician at any particular time, will need to express his opinion. Any politician is free to aspire for any post. If Reverend Ngwira and colleagues are saying Khumbo Kachali, we want him at this particular moment I’m humbled. And I respect their opinion. But let time come, let the due process followed, let the constitution followed,” he said.

He said he did not think the party is following the constitution at the moment:

“I don’t think so. The best way for me is, in the absence of the president, the handovers could have been done when the president was leaving. When people started voicing their concerns, that’s when this thing came in. PP says ‘power to the people’. Why don’t we consult the people?”

Kachali, however, said he respects Banda as former president and president of the party.

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