Nankhumwa denies relinquishing post of Leader of Opposition as reported by DPP spokesman BJ Mpinganjira

* “The claims are patently false and a shameful fabrication”

* Nankhumwa confirms meeting Mutharika

* “The discussions will continue in due course”

By Duncan Mlanjira

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president for the South, Kondwani Nankhumwa has refuted a statement that was issued by the party’s spokesperson, Brown Mpinganjira that was purported that he has agreed to relinquish the position of Leader of Opposition and to respect the choice made by the party of Francis Kasaila.

Brown Mpinganjira

A statement from the party’s spokesperson, Brown Mpinganjira — which has been followed by that of Nankhumwa himself — says this follows “appeals from some Party leaders as well as persistent requests” from Nankhumwa asking for an audience with party president Peter Mutharika.

Mpinganjira says after been authorised by the Party’s Central Committee, Mutharika met with Nankhumwa in Mangochi on Sunday, November 29 together with two senior officials — Goodall Gondwe and Samuel Tembenu.

Party President Mutharika

The statement also says since there is a court case as regards to the whole impasse that existed between Nankhumwa and some of the officials that were regarded as renegades, Nankhumwa “has  undertaken to direct his legal team to seek an indefinite adjournment of the case to pave way for the resolution of the matter by the parties to the case through mediation using the existing structures for dispute resolution within the Party”.

“…the President will immediately report to the Central Committee for guidance and implementation of the agreed terms,” says the statement. “In this regard, mechanisms will be worked out immediately to look at all issues in contention and to resolve them.

Francis Kasaila, APM’s choice

“Meanwhile, there will be no public statements by the contestants or their proxies on this matter until we have reached a resolution. All official communication on this matter will only be made through the office of the party spokesperson.”

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

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

Goodall Gondwe also was present

“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 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.

He said hearing of the case continues on Tuesday, December 1.

Grezeldar Jeffrey