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Lingson Belekanyama snubs Gustave Kaliwo

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Director of Social Affairs Lingson Belekanyama has distanced himself from those organising an ad hoc convention early next month.

The party’s General Secretary Gustave Kaliwo has named Belekanyama as deputy organising secretary for the convention slated for July 7 to 9.

The convention is being described as a response to calls from over half of the party’s sympathisers at district and regional levels.

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However, Belekanyama, who is Member of Parliament for Lilongwe Msinja South, has told The Daily Times that he is not aware of the convention, further expressing ignorance on his appointment as deputy secretary for the organising committee.

He said he is not in the committee because MCP president Lazarus Chakwera did not notify him about his appointment into such a committee.

“When I saw the newspaper on Friday, I asked the president why my name is appearing on the list of organising committee [members] when I had not been briefed. To my surprise, the president expressed ignorance on the whole issue including the convention,” Belekanyama said.

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“There are procedures to be followed when you are preparing for a convention. [For example] the National Executive Committee (Nec) meets and expresses an intention to hold a convention and gives a view on the timeframe of the convention. It is the responsibility of Nec to propose names of people to be in the organising committee of the convention,” he said.

He said the party president consults the appointees before advising the secretary general to inform them, in writing, about their appointment. The committee is then given terms of reference— such as date of holding the convention, venue and accreditation of delegates— from the president, which has not been followed in the proposed July convention.

Belekanyama said the composition of the organising committee and the delegates raises more questions than answers, stressing that some of the names appearing on the list are deceased while others have either joined other parties or formed their own parties, as is the case with Chris Daza.

He pointed out that some of the people on the list have retired from active politics, notably Abbi Jana from the Eastern Region.

Belekanyama emphasised that he believes in the leadership of Chakwera and MCP’s four cornerstones of Unity, Loyalty, Obedience and Discipline.

Kaliwo, who is in the forefront calling for a convention, is quoted in social media as saying the convention will take place as no legal or political objections have been raised.

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