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Kondwani Nankhumwa hits at DPP detractors

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Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Southern Region vice-president, Kondwani Nankhumwa, yesterday openly accused some quarters in the party of tarnishing his image.

Nankhumwa, speaking before DPP leader and President Peter Mutharika delivered a speech marking the launch of Shire Valley Transformation Programme in Chikwawa North, charged that some sections in the party are propagating lies that he wants to join either Malawi Congress Party (MCP) or UTM.

“When I spoke quoting the Bible during the rally held at Njamba, Blantyre [on Sunday], some people questioned why I was doing this when this is the time for fighting, but you have to know that even in the army they have a chaplain meaning that they, too, pray before going to war.

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“I want to make it clear that I will continue quoting the Bible because that is the way I am and I will never raise my voice when speaking. I will continue conducting myself in the manner I have always been,” Nankhumwa said before he spoke briefly about the launch of the programme.

The Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister also condemned some people who reportedly manipulate his photographs to portray him as being in the company of UTM officials.

“Unfortunately, such people are in the party [DPP] but there is no way I can join either MCP or UTM. They have even gone ahead to suggest that all my positions, including that of Leader of the House, will be taken away from me. However, when it shall please you to remove me as a minister, I will accept it because that is your prerogative,” Nankhumwa said.

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“Let me warn these gossipers that when a lion is asleep, it does not mean that it is dead. Let us stop spreading these lies. My message is that ahead of the election, I shall rise together with the President and, in the event that, God forbid, we don’t make it, fall together, pack up and go into farming.”

Taking his turn, Mutharika urged DPP members to accommodate alliance partners United Democratic Front (UDF) members in the buildup to the elections, saying he was ready to stand for the presidency and sail to victory.

“I know that people, including some senior party members, meet at night in order to destabilise the party. Let us not feel threatened by UDF. They are not in the alliance for positions but to strengthen the alliance. Let us be united and avoid gossiping,” he said.

He then took a swipe at international human rights organisations for condemning his regime following the arrest of Human Rights Defenders Coalition leaders Timothy Mtambo, Gift Trapence and MacDonald Sembereka after they announced that they would hold demonstrations on March 25 to shut down State residences to force him to assent to electoral reforms bills and fire Malawi Electoral Commission commissioners.

“I spent 20 years teaching international human rights law and if you say you will seal the State House, it means putting the President under house arrest… if you think this is human rights… you must be idiots…,” Mutharika said.

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