MZIMBA--Former Deputy Director for Women and Presidential Advisor on Women's Affairs Margaret Chiponda shocked a rally at Kalikumbi in Mzimba South West on Tuesday when she said “nobody knew Joyce Banda and Khumbo Kachali” could be alive today.
“When you look back, one could never have known that these people will be alive today. Only God had a plan and not anybody. It was too dangerous for them out there,” said Chiponda who announced her defection from the DPP to the ruling People’s Party.
Banda and Kachali were expelled in 2010 from then ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Bingu wa Mutharika who died in April this year, creating a vacancy that was filled by Banda who'd remained the country's vice president.
Banda had opposed Mutharika's plan to have his brother, Peter, succeed him at the expiry of his final term in 2014.
Although Banda remained the country's vice president, there were attempts by Mutharika to remove her from office. The efforts included asking the court to rule on a sitting vice president belonging to another political party which she'd formed after the expulsion from the governing party and the government removing from the vice president's office resources--cars and staff.
While the attempts to remove the vice president from office were on, Banda's motorcade was involved is a dubious car accident in the capital Lilongwe and she has since said, as MaraPost had reported at the time when it broke the story, that her security had advised her to change cars just before boarding. In an interview with South Africa's Sunday Times, Pres Banda said:
"I was in car number five when they hit the car I was supposed to be in ... a truck came from the bush full of maize. I was denied access to the accident report until now that I'm president. I've seen that the truck was owned by the system. They hit where I was supposed to sit," said Banda.
"I was coming from the airport to meet the president and 60km from the airport ... it was the only road. I switched cars at the airport on the advice of my security because it was getting dark ... unbeknown to them that there was something that had been planned," she said.
On Tuesday, Chiponda, told the vice president at the rally that "without you Khumbo Kachali and all others standing by the president, nobody would be talking of the People's Party which we are joining today.
"You held her hand. You were fighters and courageous during such frightening period of our country. You deserve a big thank you.”
Vice Pres Kachali said PP was open to all who wished to join it.
(c) The Maravi Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited