By Deogratias Mmana
Malawi Congress Party has apologised to its members and followers for breaking its own constitution.
The apology follows an attack to the party by a group calling itself general membership of the Malawi Congress Party, led by Alex Major, who together with publicity secretary Zinenani Magola, issued a statement demanding answers from the party for failing to advance the interests of the general good.
The group said the National Executive Committee (Nec) of the party has managed to meet once when the constitution stipulates that the meetings should be held quarterly.
The group further said the failure to fill the vacant position of vice president for the southern region following the death of Sidik Mia has also created a vacancy in the office of the Secretary General because by its constitution, the SG is required to fill the vacant position of the vice president.
Further, the group attacked the party for stating that its next convention would be held in 2024 instead of 2023, according to the constitution.
“The group calls upon President Lazarus Chakwera through the administrative secretary to abide by the constitution which mandates them to ensure that the National Executive Committee is meeting as per the party’s constitution,” reads their statement.
The statement further reads: ‘The grouping is concerned with sentiments by the party’s publicity secretary Maurice Munthali, who hinted that the next convention will be held in 2024. The general membership is shocked with such outbursts as they are tantamount to raping the constitution.
‘Our plea is for the leadership to follow the constitution lest the group be forced to seek legal redress. The leadership needs to release the calendar for the next indaba so that aspirants may start preparations to avoid last minute panic,’ the statement read further.
The party’s spokesperson Maurice Munthali admitted that the party flouted its own constitution and assured the members that it would start to lead by example by following the blueprint.
Munthali said while there were good reasons for Nec’s failure to meet as required by the law like Covid-19 and resources, the party needs to comply with its constitution.
“We agree with those who say we should abide by our constitution. The party should comply and we should not promote those excuses yet we know what the constitution demands.
“The president says we must observe the rule of law and we must start as a party especially that we are in power. We apologise to our followers and members and well-wishers for failing to abide by our constitution. We will do the needful,’ Munthali said.
Church and Society of the Blantyre synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) Executive Director Rev Master Jumbe said failure by the party to follow its own constitution is a reflection and manifestation of deep-rooted impunity amongst party leadership.
He said members should always demand accountability from their leaders.
“Let party members take their leaders to task; otherwise, our democracy is being threatened by selfish leaders,” Jumbe said.
He added: ‘The apology from the MCP spokesperson is not enough. Leaders who fail to follow their own constitutions should always learn to step aside and let others lead. The impunity and lack of intraparty democracy is often reflected in the government where leaders feel they are untouchables.”