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Suspicious seat shuffling in MCP

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The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has changed its seating plan in Parliament, shifting some prominent members to the back benches while moving some to the front.

The move might be viewed as a sign of in-house strife in the party although the party’s politburo has quickly dismissed it as normal.

Salima North West parliamentarian, Jessie Kabwila, has been moved from the front row to the sixth row on the party’s benches while Salima Central legislator, Felix Jumbe, has been moved from fourth to the sixth row.

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Kasungu South East Member of Parliament (MP), Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has been moved

from the third row to occupy seat number two on the opposition benches, which is on the front row.

Lilongwe Mapuyu South MP, Joseph Njovuyalema, will now occupy seat number one on the opposition benches, with Kasungu Central MP, Amon Nkhata, now occupying Njovuyalema’s old seat.

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But MCP Chief Whip, Lobin Lowe , has described the develoment as normal. He said the party wanted to have balance in terms of contributions by making sure that its members contribute from different corners of the House.

“There is nothing unusual about the changes. We wanted balance in the way, as a party, we contribute in the House. We want our members to contribute from different corners of the House. We don’t want only one side to contribute,” Lowe said.

When asked if people should read too much into the issue, Lowe insisted there was nothing peculiar.

“Even in football, you change tactics depending on how the game is being played. Therefore, these changes are just about strengthening how we present issues in the House,” Lowe said.

Kabwila could not be reached on her mobile phone for her reaction on the change. Jumbe, however, described the change as nothing unusual to him.

“This development is not surprising to me. I have seen a number of changes since I was elected as a Member of Parliament. I will not be frustrated. These changes are far from frustrating me. I have become immune,” Jumbe said.

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