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MCP fires nine Southern Region Committee members

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The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has fired nine members from its Southern Region Committee for being found guilty of assaulting the party’s second vice-president, McDonald Lombola and Administrative Secretary, Potipher Chidaya, in November last year.

The party’s Southern Region Secretary Frank Bauleni and Lombola’s wife were also assaulted during the fracas that ensued during an administrative meeting at MCP Southern Region Headquarters at Chichiri in Blantyre on November 11.

In an interview on Sunday, MCP Spokesperson, Jessie Kabwila, said the National Executive Committee (Nec) meeting in Lilongwe on Saturday upheld the decision that is contained in a letter dated February 2, 2016.

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Kabwila said the party’s Nec also resolved to let the Disciplinary Committee probe more to ensure that all the people, who perpetrated the violence and deserve the boot over that fracas, are indeed fired.

“Those people acted against the values of the party and laws of the party and deserve to be punished for contravening the rules. In the next two weeks, the Disciplinary Committee will dig deeper into the issue. The Committee will do more to determine on whether we can fire more people or maybe some people fired are not supposed to be fired,” Kabwila said.

She, however, insisted the move does not mean the concerned people are dismissed from the party.

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“They are just fired from the regional committee not the party. And, as I said, the decision is being scrutinised,” she said.

According to a letter from the party’s Secretary General, Gustave Kaliwo, and addressed to the Regional Chairperson, Peter Simbi, the nine have been fired for contravening MCP’s constitution and cornerstones.

In the letter, Kaliwo says after the incident, the party management, on behalf of the Nec, instituted a Disciplinary Committee which a retired Brigadier Chinjala chaired.

The fired members are Regional Campaign Director Robson Edson Chirwa, Regional Publicity Secretary Blessings Chilembwe, Organising Secretary Gift Dafutala and his deputy Daniel Dambuleni.

Others are Regional Vice-Treasurer Joseph Kangulu, Vice-Chairperson for the Youth Desire Kambewa, Youth Secretary Pearson Matenda, Second Vice-Chairlady Edna Kuyenda and Vice-Treasurer for the Youth Mercy Issah.

At least 36 people were elected into the MCP Southern Region Committee last year.

“Using the report that we received and indeed our own investigation of the incident, we have found that these people contravened the party constitution and cornerstones. Therefore, nine people that we have listed above have been fired from their respective positions in the party’s Southern Region Committee effective February 1, 2016. In view of this, these people are not allowed to do any duties as Malawi Congress Party leaders,” part of the letter reads.

In the letter, Kaliwo tells Simbi to ensure that the order in the letter is followed to the letter.

In an interview last week, one of the fired, Kambewa, expressed ignorance on the matter, saying at the time of the interview, he was at the regional office.

“Actually, some few days ago we were in Chikwawa where we held a political rally with our regional chairperson,” Kambewa said.

Although Regional Secretary, Bauleni, acknowledged to have received communication on the decision, Simbi feigned ignorance on the matter.

“I am part of the Nec and if such a decision was made, I would be able to know. But I have not received any communication to that effect,” Simbi said.

Towards the end of last month, the party’s committee for the Central Region fired seven district chairpersons for allegedly bringing ‘calls for early convention confusion’ within the party.

Speaking on his return from a two-week visit to the US last week, MCP president Lazarus Chakwera vowed to sort out problems currently rocking the party.

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