Tension was in the air at a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) meeting which one of the party’s top officials Joseph Mwanamvekha organised in Mzuzu City, as people suspected to be cadets manhandled Mzimba North East director of youth Emmanuel Soko and blocked him and others from entering the meeting room.
Mwanamvekha was meeting regional committee members, district and constituency leaders ahead of the party’s convention slated for July 2023.
Speaking in an interview, Soko said he was officially invited to attend the meeting, through district committee leaders, but was surprised when cadets blocked him at the main gate of Grand Palace in Mzuzu.
Soko claimed a group of over 30 people dressed in DPP T-shirts surrounded him, accusing him of being a spy.
“Which direction is our party taking? Have we changed our ideologies of promoting peace? Should we be keeping thugs in the party? What wrong have I done to be insulted by fellow party members?” Soko queried.
DPP director of operations Joe Nyirongo said in a separate interview that he shunned the meeting because he sensed that there would be violence.
“We are saying this is pathetic and unacceptable in our party. Candidates that want to lead the party should lead by example. If they have identified their own leaders in districts and constituencies, then it is better not to invite others instead of attacking them,” Nyirongo said.
But DPP Northern Regional governor Ackim Mwanza said no one was attacked at the meeting
Mwanza clarified that some members did not simply understand that some structures were not invited to the event.
“Honorable Mwanamvekha wanted to meet all directors at regional, district and constituency levels. So, it was not everybody who was invited. Therefore, it is sad that some are alleging that they were blocked from entering the meeting room,” Mwanza said.
When contacted, Mwanamvekha said he was not aware of the incident but explained that all 67 members who were invited attended the meeting.
Mwanamvekha said those propelling the alleged attack reports simply wanted to dent his image.
“I am not aware of that but the fact is that all the leaders who were invited were with me inside. Now, who is complaining? This is politics and I am sure that some people are behind those false claims. The good thing is that I play clean politics,” Mwanamvekha said.