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MCP, UTM mute on alliance review

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Eisenhower Mkaka

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM have kept under wraps the outcome of the discussions the two parties had to evaluate their alliance.

The two parties went into the discussions in July this year after what was seen as failure to move forward in one accord.

Our sources in both UTM and MCP said their representatives, who formed a special committee for the task, met three times with their respective leaders, President Lazarus Chakwera for MCP and Vice-President Saulos Chilima for UTM, in attendance.

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The other members from UTM, according to our source, were the party’s Vice President Michael Usi, Secretary General (SG) Patricia Kaliati, lawyer Chikosa Silungwe and then-Publicity Secretary Frank Mwenifumbo.

Mwenifumbo later resigned from the party.

From MCP’s side, Second Vice President Harry Mkandawire, SG Eisenhower Mkaka, Justice Minister Titus Mvalo and spokesperson Reverend Maurice Munthali reportedly participated in the discussions.

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The sources said two meetings were held at Kamuzu Palace.

Speaking in separate interviews, Kaliati and Mkaka said they would not disclose the outcome of the discussions on reviewing their agreements.

“We will not put the outcome in the public domain. We are waiting for the right time. We are going to update the public once we see the time is right to do so,” Kaliati said.

On his part, Mkaka said updates on Tonse Alliance-related communications are made by the alliance’s spokesperson Kamuzu Chibambo.

“I am MCP and I can only talk about MCP issues and not the alliance, which has a spokesperson,” Mkaka said.

We had not managed to get a comment from Chibambo by the time we went to press.

Meanwhile, political analyst George Phiri has opined that reviewing the agreement between MCP and UTM is not necessary because there are nine parties in the alliance.

“If there is an agreement to review the alliance, then all political parties must be involved. The alliance is not only for MCP and UTM, so it would not make sense to leave out other parties,” Phiri said.

The two parties formed the alliance as the main partners ahead of the court-ordered June 23, 2020 presidential election.

But immediately after they assumed power, having defeated that time’s governing Democratic Progressive Party candidate Peter Mutharika, disagreements began to ensue especially among the parties’ supporters with UTM’s accusing their partner of sidelining them.

There were also hints from UTM that Chilima would represent the alliance after Chakwera’s first term in office, an insinuation which MCP dismissed through promulgations by some of the party’s senior members that Chakwera would stand again in 2025.

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