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Lazarus Chakwera ignores Gustave Kaliwo

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President, Lazarus Chakwera, Sunday left it to the party’s Central Region Chairman, Patrick Chilondola, to respond to a declaration by Secretary-General Gustave Kaliwo that MCP will hold a convention from July 7 to 9 this year.

On Saturday, Kaliwo declared that the MCP constitution gives him powers to call for a convention even without consulting with the party’s president.

He addressed the press in Blantyre where he was flanked by some district chairmen who have been agitating for the convention.

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At a rally which Chakwera addressed at Ntcheu boma after attending a church service there, Chilondola advised him to ignore Kaliwo’s declaration.

He instead queried the declaration which he argued had no basis because Kaliwo has not been attending the party’s National Executive Committee (Nec) meetings where he should have raised issues if he had any.

“Bwana president, don’t respond to such an issue. He is in fact taking advantage of the fact that you just picked him for the position. Those giving you problems are those that were just handpicked.

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“We will go to the convention when the time is right not when Kaliwo calls for a convention. He has no mandate to call for a convention. In fact he must understand that his influence is very minute. He failed when he stood as a Member of Parliament,” Chilondola said.

In his address, Chakwera did not say anything about Kaliwo and those “giving him problems”, but instead concentrated on calling for unity and equal opportunities for every Malawian regardless of their places of origin.

He said the Republican Constitution accords every Malawian the right to development and that the State has the responsibility of reinforcing the right.

“We are all Malawians and that’s something that should always unite us. If one section of society is being segregated, things cannot work.

“Democracy should be manifested in how we treat each other as a people who belong together. Party colours or where we are coming from should not be the basis for whether we can benefit from something,” Chakwera said.

He also bemoaned lack of proper mechanisms to ensure farmers in the country have access to organised markets for their produce.

“We are here in Ntcheu and this is one district where people grow crops that can get them out of poverty. But the road network from areas where these crops are grown is bad.

“Irish potatoes, cabbages, onions and tomatoes are being imported by supermarkets because our farmers are not able to find means of taking them there. We need improved systems so that our farmers reap from their labour,” said Chakwera.

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