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MCP awaits court ruling to decide convention date

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Jessie Kabwila has said the party will decide the future of the proposed convention after a court ruling.

Kabwila was reacting to calls by the party’s Central Region committee that MCP should hold a convention within 90 days. The party is still awaiting court ruling on concerns the party’s National Executive Committee raised regarding holding the convention within the stipulated time.

The MCP spokesperson said the fact that former chairperson of the Central Region committee Daniel Mlomo, who is a long serving member of the party, has added his voice to the calls for an emergency convention is the reason enough for the party to start taking issues surrounding the matter seriously.

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“As you know, the Central Region is our stronghold, and Mlomo is one of the strongest members of the party. The party should consider its position on the matter and communicate its decision on the matter in the shortest time possible,” she said.

Kabwila however said the decision to hold the convention will still be determined by the court ruling.

“Unless otherwise, but it is the understanding of the party that we have to hold a convention within 90 days. We are still waiting to hear if the court will make any changes to the ruling this coming Friday, until then we cannot say anything,” Kabwila said.

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The ruling followed a demand made by 27 party officials for the party Secretary General Gustave Kaliwo to call for an emergency convention in order for the party to formalise changes party President Lazarus Chakwera made to the National Executive Committee almost a year ago.

Mlomo, who is now leading the Central Region chairmen, said he would like to join other members who made a similar call.

“We are a group of both former and current leaders of the party and we are determined to iron out the constitutional irregularities at the convention,” said Mlomo in an interview recently.

He also said the members were not against the incumbent leadership but maintained that the members will continue fighting against abuse of office.

“We will continue fighting against the tendency of taking over the role of a convention in electing people into the national executive committee (Nec),” said Mlomo adding that “we are not supporting the call to change leadership but we want to address this tendency of not following procedures set in the party’s constitution.”

Asked if the party has resources to finance the convention, Kabwila said MCP will strive to uphold intra party democracy at all times.

“Even at the time when we [MCP] were holding our last convention, we did not have enough resources but then we had to do as per the requirements of our constitution. This time around, the chairpersons have spoken but we will still wait for the court’s final determination on the matter,” she said.

Chakwera made new appointments to the Nec of the party.

This did not go down well with some quarters within the party as they felt the party president had no powers to change positions which were made during the convention.

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