DPP emulates Nankhumwa by holding rally at same venue on separate consecutive days

* Guest speaker will be George Chaponda who is earmarked by DPP to replace Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition

* Nankhumwa’s rally to be spiced by mega crowd pullers The Black Missionaries, Anthony Makondetsa and other two artists

* Chaponda’s, to be hosted by DPP’s regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha, has musician Dan Lu

By Duncan Mlanjira

After beleaguered Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president (South), Kondwani Nankhumwa announced his intention to hold a mass rally at Nyambadwe Primary School grounds in Blantyre on July 31, the party has also organised its own at the same venue a day before, Saturday, July 30.

This is a replica of what happed two months ago, when Nankhumwa also emulated the DPP by holding his own rally at Mgona in Lilongwe — also a day after the party’s vice-president (Centre), Zelia Chikale had held hers at same venue.

Dubbed ‘DPP Blantyre Mega Rally’, to be hosted by DPP’s regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha, the guest speaker will be George Chaponda, who is earmarked by the party to replace Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

To be held from 12:00hrs — and also dubbed Blantyre Mega Rally — Nankhumwa rally’s other speaker is another DPP renegade, Gelzeder Jeffrey, who is the party’s secretary general and will be spiced by music performances by The Black Missionaries, Anthony Makondetsa, Khonzie Masimbe and Yanjanani, while for Chaponda’s is Dan Lu.


Just on Friday, after Nankhumwa had written Mchacha indicating his intention to hold the rally, he was referred to party president Peter Mutharika to seek permission and that he was also set to engage the Regional Executive to a meeting to start preparations for the rally.

While Mchacha indicated that he had taken note of the announcement, he advised Nankhumwa to seek approval first from Mutharika before proceeding with his plans “as party protocol and etiquette demands”.

“You will only be allowed to hold the mass rally and meet Southern Regional Executive Committee ONLY when you get such approval in writing,” Mchacha had said.

During the rally at Mgona on April 30 — Chikale had emphasized that party president Mutharika has the constitutional right to stand again as the Head of State and she had asked the huge gathering of DPP members if it was their wish for the former President to rule again — to which she received a resounding vote of confirmation.

She had gone on to say that anyone wishing to contest for the 2025 presidential race — which Nankhumwa eyes for that led to being at loggerheads with the party leadership hierarchy — should quit the DPP and form their own party or contest for the party presidency during the DPP’s convention at which APM will express his intention to retain the leadership.


Nankhumwa is embroiled in leadership wrangle within the DPP hierarchy — the most recent being removed as Leader of Opposition and replaced by George Chaponda.

Nankhumwa sought court intervention from which he was granted an injunction and thus reinstated — to the chagrin of the rest of the party leadership that appointed Chaponda as replacement during a caucus which Mutharika held at his personal retirement residence, the PAGE House in Mangochi last month.

The injunction was granted to 22 DPP Members of Parliament by the High Court in Lilongwe on June 28 in which Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda ordered that the status quo that existed before Chaponda’s appointment be maintained.

Mutharika presiding over the caucus that attempted to remove Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition 

This also followed a press statement that DPP secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey earlier issued in which she maintained that Chaponda’s appointment should be deemed as null and void — singling out anomalies of the caucus that it was attended by a minority number of MPs — both DPP and independents — “who were deliberately selected to participate in the election.”

“Many MPs were not invited,” Jeffrey had said. “As a matter of fact, even myself — as secretary general of the party — was not and did not attend.”

She added that “that no actual election took place, instead one independent legislator simply proposed Hon. Chaponda’s name and few others confirmed and the meeting then adopted Hon. Chaponda as having been ‘elected’”.


This is not the first time that an attempt was made by Nankhumwa’s own party to replace him as Leader of Opposition — the first some two years ago in which Nankhumwa also opposed in liaison with Jeffrey, Jappie Mhango and Yusuf Nthenda.

Following this rebellion, Mutharika fired the four but they also went to court which granted an injunction and the dismissals were rescinded and they were reinstated in their various posts.

In November last year, Mutharika hosted a reconciliatory meeting but it but Nankhumwa continued his political estrangement with the party when Nankhumwa strongly refuted a statement made after the meeting that he had “unconditionally withdrawn the defamation case” he filed through the court against four senior members of the party — Francis Mphepo, Brown Mpinganjira, Zellia Chakale and Charles Mchacha.

The failed reconciliation meeting

During the reconciliatory meeting, Mutharika invited Nankhumwa and fellow party presidential aspirants — Paul Gadama; Dalitso Kabambe; David Mbera; Bright Msaka and Joseph Mwanamveka — that led the party to issue the notice indicating that Nankhumwa had thrown in an olive branch with the DPP.

Beginning of this year, Nankhumwa continued to court controversy within the party when he forced Mutharika to demand a retraction of a political poster on which the vice-president used a picture of himself and that of party founder, late Bingu wa Mutharika.

APM reacted by issuing a statement that he felt aggrieved over the use of his late brother’s picture, saying the “purpose of this callous action is to give the impression that the late Bingu would have endorsed” Nankhumwa’s party president candidacy.

Nankhumwa with Kalani Thom Mutharika

Mutharika had maintained that as head of the Mutharika family, he had been distressed by this exploitation and asked Nankhumwa to withdraw the poster and to never post another one — which he never did.

The poster — with a screaming headline said: ‘Kalikonse Mukaona in 2022’ — quoted Bingu as saying “Power is never given on a silver platter. You must fight for it”.

Mutharika was also forced to voice out his outrage on Nankhumwa when he visited a man identified as Kalani Thom Mutharika — who claimed to be a relation to both Bingu and Peter — a move which was seen as Nankhumwa trying to gain political mileage.

Nankhumwa and Mutharika in better days

Mutharika disputed and rejected claims that Kalani Thom Mutharika is related to his clan, saying in APM’s family were six children who survived adulthood — Jimmie, Lizzie, Bingu, Ida, Peter (our President) and Christina.

Thus Mutharika saw Kalani Thom as “a fraud and an impostor,” whilst asking Nankhumwa to “slow down and reflect” as he is taking his “war for presidency too far against innocent people”.

However, Kalani Thom — through his son Pastor Joseph Thom Mutharika maintained the relationship with APM and Bingu and demanded an apology from Mutharika for describing him as an impostor.

The visit by Nankhumwa was to show that Kalani Thom was destitute having been ill for some time — an indication that the Mutharika family was neglecting him.

Nankhumwa is reported to have donated various assorted items for Kalani’s upkeep and also pledged to construct him a decent house as he does not own one and lives in his sister’s house at Kachingwe Village in Traditional Authority Mkalo in Chiradzulu.