* MCP should be concerned with its distinguished failure to fulfil any of the campaign promises that Malawians voted them for
* Malawians have not forgotten that in 1993 MCP campaigned against political pluralism and described multi-party democracy as war
By Duncan Mlanjira
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has fired its renegade members that include Opposition Leader in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa, former gecretary general, Grezelder Jeffrey and several other influential members — but in a bizarre turn of events, this decision has been criticised by the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
The DPP has responded, saying MCP reaction is “a spectacular display of desperation, hypocrisy and fear, cried out the loudest over the outcomes” of the main opposition party in Parliament, saying it’s actions was “procedurally conducted and transparent disciplinary hearing”.
“The DPP finds it laughable and unfortunate that the ruling MCP is more concerned with sanity and unity that has brought in by resolutions of legally constituted disciplinary committee of the DPP instead of being concerned with its distinguished failure to fulfil any of the campaign promises that Malawians voted them for.”
“Malawians have not forgotten that in 1993 MCP campaigned against political pluralism and described multi-party democracy as war. MCP should also not pretend to have forgotten that while its current President has been in power, the party has fired from the party its then first-vice president, Richard Msowoya; secretary general, Gustave Kaliwo; spokesperson Jessie Kabwila; senior party official Felix Jumbe, among the many others.
“The MCP should also not conveniently forget that it has recently fired one of its youth leaders, Frank Chiwanda, without even following its own party’s disciplinary procedure,” said the response issued today by presidential & party spokesperson, Shadric Namalomba.
In its statement issued on Sunday, the MCP said it was concerned with decisions by the DPP against the members, who keep being fired and replaced after they sought legal interventions, saying “the actions by the Party are antithetical to the democratic principles that underpin the importance of member consultations, participation and tolerance in decision-making processes as well as to the political rights and freedom of association that all Malawians are guaranteed by the country’s Constitution”.
“It is, therefore, disturbing to see an opposition party resorting to the undemocratic measures the DPP has taken, thus undermining both the democracy our country and the very principles on which that Party was founded,” says a statement issued by MCP’s national publicity secretary, Ezekiel Peter Ching’oma.
“A political party should always be open to dissenting opinions and ideas of it members and provide channels for constructive criticism, feedback and reconciliation.
“But by summarily dismissing its members using a process that lacks transparency, the DPP has set a dangerous precedent that threatens the democratic fabric of our society.”
The MCP thus calls on the DPP and its leadership to live up to the principles of democracy that its very name represents and specifically, urges the DPP “to reconsider its actions and join other parties in Malawi in adopting a more inclusive and transparent spirit that is commensurate with the desire of Malawians for an inclusive democratic development state”.
The MCP concludes by strongly condemning the “undemocratic actions of the DPP” and reiterates its commitment to upholding democratic values and principles as expoused by the Republic’s Constitution and the MCP’s constitution, which are also championed and embodied by President Lazarus Chakwera in his “tireless efforts to serve all Malawians, unite them and help them prosper together regardless of their political affiliations and differences”.
The DPP thus says it is not surprised with the statement by MCP and accuses the ruling party of sponsoring what Namalomba described as “rebels”, saying: “MCP was bound to complain with the outcomes of the DPP’s disciplinary hearing.
“The DPP also firmly believes MCP’s main fear is that the outcome of DPP’s disciplinary hearing marks the beginning of the end of MCP. MCP has made life miserable for Malawians, and in 2025, the united and strong DPP, together with Malawians who are tired of the economic hardships and clear beckons of incompetence in MCP, will vote for DPP presidential candidate, Peter Mutharika, to save their country from total economic mess.
“Further, the MCP knows the DPP will put strong leadership in Parliament and tightly hold government to account. MCP is afraid of being held to account.”
The DPP further said it “believes MCP has reasons to complain” as its time is up: “Malawians are tired of suffering caused by incompetence, greedy, nepotism, thievery and corruption and inexperience of the MCP.
“DPP has clearly put its house in order, and, other than crying out loudly, there is nothing that MCP can do to stop well-meaning Malawians to vote for DPP into power so that the Party can swiftly devote to rebuilding the economy that MCP is destroying, brick-by-brick, every passing day.”
In its statement to DPP members issued on Saturday by presidential & party spokesperson, Shadric Namalomba said at a meeting of the Party’s Central Committee and under the powers vested in the Central Committee by Article 9(5) (b) as read with Article 15(4) of the DPP constitution, it was unanimously resolved to expel Nankhumwa; presidential advisor, Jeffrey; vice-president (Centre), Cecilia Chazama; presidential advisor, Nicholas Dausi; national publicity secretary, Mark Botomani.
Others are national director of research & training, Otria Jere; national director of protocol, Fortunate Simeon Phiri; deputy treasurer general (Centre), Fredrick Billy Malata; deputy national director of political affairs (East), Joe Thomas Nyirongo; deputy national director of operations (North); and Kenneth Msonda, NGC member (North).
Several others were removed from their positions in the national governing council (NGC) and suspended as members for a period of nine months — Henry Matemba (national director of elections); Joseph Kachali (deputy national director of elections (North); Kondwani Ng’ong’ola (deputy national organising secretary (Centre); Shafee Khamisa (deputy national director of logistics (South); Brave Mkwezalamba (deputy national director of operations (South); Marriam Chimbalanga, (deputy national director of women (Centre); Dumisani Lindani (NGC member (East); Baxter Kita, (NGC member (North); and Lameck Rajab Malimba (NGC member (Centre).
Also suspended is Uladi Mussa for a period of nine months while Ralph Jooma as been removed as national director of economic affairs in the NGC.
“The Party calls upon its members to respect and abide by the above resolutions, to desist from any misconduct in the Party and never to undermine and disrespect the leadership at any levels within the structures of the party.
“The Party will not hesitate to take any disciplinary action against any misconduct,” said Namalomba in the statement.
In December, political and social issues commentator, Joshua Chisa Mbele described the in-house leadership conflict in the DPP as political implosion following the transfer Jeffrey, Nankhumwa and Chazama.
Chisa Mbele was prompted to comment on Facebook, saying what is happening “is nothing but intimidation, harassment and abuse of authority within party structures”.
He maintained that the DPP needs to foster unity within themselves as the governance structures of this country “need a strong and robust opposition in a democracy”.
When the leadership wrangle was at its peak in 2022, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) contended that the internal stand-off in the high echelons of the DPP was collapsing its role as the main Opposition of the government.
A statement ssued on June 23, 2023 by national chairperson, Gift Trapence and his executive committee, said the DPP was being torn apart by internal fights — rendering it too ineffective to provide the necessary checks and balances as well as offer alternative policy options to Tonse Administration’s handling of national issues.
The HRDC thus called on Malawians to be vigilant in order to ensure that Tonse government lives to people’s expectations in fulfilling its electoral promises.”
Several attempts have been made by the DPP President, Peter Mutharika to reconcile leadership differences rocking the party, which has the vice-president for the Southern Region, Nankhumwa at the centre of it all — who was recently removed from that position to presidential advisor.
Nankhumwa’s leadership feud with Mutharika has stretched since 2020 that started when his party president tried to strip him of his position as Leader of Opposition — a decision which he challenged in Parliament and was later fired from the party together with fellow renegades — treasurer general, Jappie Mhango; Jeffrey and MP for Mulanje West Yusuf Nthenda.
The four challenged the dismissal in court and were later reinstated but the feud still remains — thus HRDC bemoaning that this internal political party impasse that is being deemed to slowly shaking the foundations of the main Opposition party.
The HRDC’s 2022 statement highlighted several maladministration on the part of the ruling Tonse Alliance, that include mismanagement of the economy; indecisiveness and slow decision-making and “the stench of evil twins of corruption and fraud are still largely responsible for Malawi’s retarded development”.
HRDC also touched on nepotism, saying the reason why Malawians voted the DPP out of government “was mainly because of the party’s arrogance and nepotistic tendencies” — giving an example that public appointments “are highly skewed towards the Tonse’s political base of the Central Region at the expense of those who come from Southern and Northern Regions”.
“We also condemn the tendency of rewarding friends, relatives and party cadres with positions that are not being competed for without giving a fair chance to other fellow citizens who are better qualified for the job. This practice must stop as it is discriminatory and denies Malawians equal opportunity for employment.”