Former president Bakili Muluzi has asked Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader former president Peter Mutharika to address differences rocking the party.
He said this Sunday when he, alongside Mutharika, spoke on the final day of Mulhakho wa Alhomwe annual cultural festival at Chonde in Mulanje District.
At the event, Muluzi, who led the country from 1994 to 2004 under the United Democratic Front (UDF) banner, and Mutharika preached co-existence, describing it as the best tool for nurturing peace and unity in the country.
In what was a rare public appearance by Muluzi, the former president said peace would promote intra-party democracy.
Muluzi urged Mutharika to use his powers as DPP leader and immediately resolve issues that threaten to eat into the gains opposition political parties have made, adding that he was happy to see DPP and UDF party members coexisting at the event.
“All the structures of the party are intact and they [followers] are giving their unwavering support to the party [DPP] but the problem is with top officials. Therefore, you (Mutharika) should bring unity. I am saying this out of love and for the sake of unity,” he said.
Recently, there have been wrangles in the opposition party, which led to four top officials, namely vice president for the Southern Region Kondwani Nankhumwa, secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey, treasurer general Jappie Mhango and Mulanje West parliamentarian Yusuf Nthenda, being fired from the party in October last year.
The four were fired over what the party described as gross misconduct.
However, Nankhumwa, Jeffrey, Mhango and Nthenda obtained an injunction restraining DPP from firing them.
However, on August 24 this year, the DPP, through administrative secretary Francis Mphepo, announced that the party’s central executive committee had reversed the decision to fire the four.
Apart from the Nankhumwa, Jeffrey, Mhango and Nthenda issue, the DPP is facing another challenge: Calls from some quarters of the party for it to go to a convention.
Speaking at Chonde Sunday, Mutharika admitted that there were problems in the party but called on party officials who harbour the ambition of taking over the party’s leadership from him to exercise patience.
“In 2023, we will have a convention. From now until then, I am the president of the party. There is only one president in the party, not two or three, and, at the moment, accept that I am the one. As such, everyone should have patience,” he said.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.