DPP disputes reports that Mutharika earmarks former RBM Governor Kabambe as party president

This is widely circulating on social media

By Duncan Mlanjira

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has disputed reports circulating on social media that allege that former State President Peter Mutharika is eyeing former Reserve Bank Governor, Dalitso Kabambe to succeed him as party president.

A statement from the DPP regional governor, Charles Mchacha has described the reports as false and unfounded that the DPP southern regional committee has been instructed by Mutharika to appoint Kabambe president at their meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 31.

Caught on camera with Mchacha (2nd right)

“I can say without favour of fear of any contradiction that the story is false, malicious and unfounded aimed at dragging our beloved party president into the unofficial campaign propaganda for the party presidency.

“The truth of the matter is [that] from day one H.E. APM has made it crystal clear that he was not taking sides in the succession competition.

“Simply put, he is not imposing any candidate to take over the party leadership when the official campaign period is announced by the Functional Review Committee.”

DPP president Mutharika

Mchacha further said the DPP national governing council members are happy with Mutharika’s “democratic and civilized guidance and assurance given”.

He said Mutharika told the nation on the succession process, quoting him as saying “let the best candidate win and I shall do all I can in my power to help the winning candidate take the DPP back into government in 2025”.

“It is, therefore, not true and a deliberate distortion of facts that H.E. APM is imposing a nephew in the name of Dr. Kabambe. You may wish to know that Dr. Kabambe is not H.E. Mutharika’s nephew [as he] is from the eastern part of Thyolo [while] Kabambe is from western part of Thyolo.”

Mchacha concludes by saying “it is undemocratic for anyone to put forward propaganda that bars other potential candidates from express their interest on DPP presidential ticket”.

Kabambe and Nankhumwa

Unconfirmed reports were awash on social media that DPP wants Kabambe to replace DPP vice-president (South), Kondwani Nankhumwa, who crossed paths with the party when he refused to step down as Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

In November, Nankhumwa refuted a statement that was issued by DPP, Brown Mpinganjira that purported that he had agreed to relinquish the position of Leader of Opposition and to respect the choice made by Mutharika of Francis Kasaila. 

Francis Kasaila, APM’s choice

Mpinganjira had said “appeals from some party leaders as well as persistent requests” from Nankhumwa asking for an audience with Mutharika was authorised by the party’s Central Committee and a meeting took place together with two senior officials — Goodall Gondwe and Samuel Tembenu — in Mangochi on November 29.

The statement also alleged that Nankhumwa had agreed to direct his legal team to seek an indefinite adjournment of a court case he has against the party that stopped him and other members from being fired.

But Nankhumwa, while confirming that he indeed had an audience with Mutharika in the presence of Gondwe and Tembenu, strongly refuted the claims contained in BJ’s press statement.

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“I wish to inform all DPP members and the nation that the above claims are patently false and a shameful fabrication,” Nankhumwa had countered the DPP statement.

“The correct information is that indeed the meeting took place in a very cordial environment. There were many issues that we discussed but we did not reach a consensus on most of them and agreed that talks must continue until we conclusively resolve the issues.

“The two parties agreed that a date would be appointed in due course to continue discussions and that where a consensus shall be reached, the two parties shall issue a joint press statement.”

He had said, meanwhile, his entire focus remains on the court case where his three colleagues, — the renegades — DPP treasurer general Jappie Mhango; secretary-general Gelzeder Jeffrey and MP for Mulanje West Yusuf Nthenda that they are contesting the DPP Central Committee’s decision to expel them from the party.

Appeal from women police officers