LILONGWE—The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) intends to be an opposition the ruling People’s Party can rely on, the oldest party in the country has agreed.
After meeting in the capital Lilongwe on Monday, all of the party’s 29 lawmakers said they will support good policies and oppose bad ones.
But is being a loyal opposition not expected in a democracy?
Lingson Belekanyama, the party’s deputy chief whip in the national assembly, says he is aware of that.
But some lawmakers expressed concern about party leader John Tembo meeting with Pres Joyce Banda without telling them what was going on.
One visible result of the meeting between the two was the appointment of Tembo’s son as Malawi’s deputy high commissioner in London. There has also been talk of Tembo being made the country’s second vice president.
Belekanyama said Tembo had three meetings with Banda: To condole with her over the death of her predecessor Pres Bingu wa Mutharika; to congratulate her on becoming the country’s president and to thank her for appointing his son to a diplomatic position.
Other lawmakers who were at MCP meeting on Monday said members decided not to bother themselves about the Tembo-Banda meeting, declaring it personal.
But the People’s Party shouldn’t think it’s all smiles among MCP lawmakers. The meeting accused PP of grabbing MCP members as the party tries to build a working majority in parliament. Mazombwe Zulu, an MCP lawmaker, was appointed deputy foreign affairs minister.
The PP was formed after Banda was expelled from the then governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). She however remained the country’s vice president.
Apart from knocking PP, the MCP had its own housekeeping issues to attend to. Sources said members reprimanded those who had made Henry Dama Phoya uncomfortable in the party.
When he announcing his departure from MCP to join PP, the former justice minister, who joined the party earlier this year after he was expelled from the DPP, said it was only party leader Tembo who had welcomed him. Phoya is now a cabinet minister in the new government.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment