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Mayhem at People’s Party meeting

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There was bloodshed at the once-mighty People’s Party meeting Sunday in Mzuzu when a faction led by Acting President Uladi Mussa and the other allegedly led by former vice-president Khumbo Kachali attacked each other, beating up some members in the process and leaving about nine people wounded.

Mussa called for a regional conference in Mzuzu where he invited all party leaders from constituencies and districts, councillors and members of Parliament to introduce the newly appointed PP vice-president responsible for the Northern Region Kamlepo Kalua to the leaders.

Reports indicate that the Kachali camp held a meeting on Saturday where his sympathisers strategised on how to disrupt the conference, according to PP Director of Youth Lameck Stambuli.

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However, Mussa’s camp hired over 50 vendors from Zigwagwa and Central markets to counter the planned fracas after noticing that Kachali’s camp had 20 bouncers from the bus depot.

A fierce battle erupted between the two sides when Mussa’s camp blocked members from Kachali’s faction from entering the hall to participate in the conference.

Ten minutes later, the 20 bouncers from Kachali’s camp arrived at the scene carrying sticks and demanded that all delegates inside the hall to leave. As they did that, they sang songs praising Joyce Banda, the founder of the party and former president of the country.

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The other camp did not watch the drama but confronted the bouncers and a fight erupted.

As the fight came to a climax, the scene became dangerous and some delegates sustained injuries and were heard crying out for transport to go back to their respective homes. Others were seen with blood stains on their bodies.

Youth Secretary for the Mussa Camp, Chibvundiko Gondwe, was badly beaten and his T-shirt torn to pieces as he tried to block the other camp.

Two police officers, who had been deployed to the venue to provide security, had no choice but disappear.

By that time, Mussa, Kalua, Secretary General Ibrahim Matola, National Executive Committee members and eight PP MPs were hiding at the residence of Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Enock Chihana at Kaning’ina.

Two hours later, PP National Director of Youth Lawrence Mpofu, appeared on the scene accompanied by 15 bouncers ready to fight against the Kachali camp but they later gave up the fight.

Some minutes later, Kalua came to the venue in an old taxi alondside Acting Provincial Chairperson, Sheribone Mchizi, to speak to the two camps that were some way far from each other. Kalua was, however, welcomed by bouncers from the Kachali faction who blocked him at the entrance of the hall.

It took 40 minutes for Kalua to be allowed to address the people after Clive Nthakomwa of Kachali’s camp granted him the permission. But, Kalua did not finish his speech as he was dragged out of the meeting prematurely.

And speaking to The Daily Times outside the hall, Kalua said the only solution to bring sanity in PP is by restoring Kachali, Chrisopher Mzomera Ngwira and the other expelled regional committee members to their positions.

Kalua said as vice president in the region, he would go by the wishes of the people to have a convention.

“I am trained to kill. I am a commander. I did not ask for this position. I will follow the wish of the people here in the Northern Region. Let’s have a convention next year.

“I am for bringing back Kachali and Mzomera so that the party remains strong and we forge ahead. This party belongs to people and those who were chased must come back,” said Kalua.

But Kalua’s sentiments did not go down well with Mussa who told the press at Chihana’s house that he will not allow the party to hold a convention, arguing that a convention is only done after five years and holding the convention now would be breaking the party’s constitution.

“PP is not divided in the Northern Region, only that Ngwira sent by Kachali organised thugs to disrupt the conference. I can prove to you because him [Ngwira] sent me messages, threatening me not to come to the region. The problem is that they are not happy that Joyce Banda appointed me to lead the party as she is outside the country. “They wish it was Kachali as they endorsed him last time. People from the region have not rejected me and that is why over 350 delegates from all the districts came. Therefore, I am not disclosing our next action, but we are going to act, “said Mussa who looked angry.

Kachali did not pick up his phone despite calling him several attempts to get his side of the story.

But Ngwira said it is Mussa’s habit to implicate him in any PP fracas.

He said he is clean on the fracas and Kachali did not send him to disrupt the conference.

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