Opposition People’s Party (PP) vice president for the Northern Region, Harry Mkandawire, has resigned from his position claiming that he can no longer serve a party that is linked to the plunder of public resources known as Cashgate.
A downcast looking Mkandawire announced during a press briefing on Friday that he has stepped down after noticing that there was no serious effort from the party’s leadership to clear its name from the Cashgate scandal.
“As a party we would have met to look at ourselves and discuss what people were saying about the party on the issues of Cashgate. It could have been proper if we would have released a statement on what we really know about Cashgate and to explain what happened,” said Mkandawire.
He said the allegations leveled against the party have been very serious and he wonders why former president, Joyce Banda, failed to make a statement in her personal capacity to prove that she and the party did not play a role in the plunder of national resources.
The Member of Parliament for Mzimba West constituency disclosed that from now onwards he will only be an ordinary party-member until such a time when the party’s name is cleared of Cashgate links.
When asked why it has taken him so long to resign as vice president, Mkandawire said he was having time to reflect before making the decision. He also claims to have approached the party’s politburo on the matter; however, he was turned back.
Mkandawire said he has no intentions of joining another party. “If I were the one being accused of being a beneficiary of Cashgate saga, surely I would have come back home to prove my innocence. I have been telling the president to come back home but she has been refusing and her absence has brought a lot of confusions in the party,” said Mkandawire.
He said party members have been asking him if all is well with the party and about the absence of the party leader which he has been failing to explain.
But when asked, PP’s spokesperson Ken Msonda expressed ignorance of Mkandawire’s resignation. “I cannot comment on the matter because we have not received any official communication from Mkandawire,” said Msonda.
A political analyst, Blessings Chinsinga, however, said if Mkandawire was sincere with his claims, he could have resigned sometime back when the issue of Cashgate was new. “I am very surprised because the party leader[Joyce Banda] tried to explain her side on the matter. It is not strange because he is being optimistic by buying political favours,” said Chinsinga.
He said it is obvious that most politicians want to have connections in government for their businesses to survive because they are assured of getting contracts. Mkandawire was previously a Democratic Progressive Party member but dumped it after it got out of power to join the PP which was in government.
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