BLANTYRE--Two warring camps of opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) have been summoned to a around table to resolve their differences.
The meeting is expected to take place either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday at the party’s head office in Blantyre, Maravipost has established.
UDF is expected to hold a convention on October 31, 2012 and the party’s secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala distributed nomination forms a fortnight ago.
There's been infighting over the party’s leadership since former president and the party’s national chairperson Bakili Muluzi retired from politics in December, 2009.
“I can confirm that there is new effort to bring the two camps together. The meeting will take place either today (Tuesday afternoon) or Wednesday. Both leaders of the two camps have agreed to come together for discussions.
“We want the members to reconcile and bring together the camps for the betterment of the party which is faced a convention this month,” said an inside source who spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday.
The source said previous efforts to bring the two factions together failed due to an “invisible hand which has been scattering the members of the party.”
It was Ian Kanyuka and Ziliro Chirambo, representing Makwangwala and Friday Jumbe camps respectively, whose efforts failed to bear fruit.
Upon his departure, Muluzi "bestowed Friday Jumbe as the leader of the party but it was disheartening to note that some [people] started sponsoring some members within the party to unseat Jumbe," the source pointed out.
“We all know including Kennedy Makwangwala that Jumbe is the right person and leader of the party. But Mr. Makwangwala is been used to frustrate Mr. Jumbe,” claimed the source.
Efforts to talk to both Makwangwala and Jumbe proved futile as their phones couldn't be reached.
Spokesperson of the Jumbe camp Sam Mpasu referred this reporter to former Defense Minister Joseph Kubwalo.
"Call Mr Kubwalo, he is better placed to comment on the matter you are talking about."
But his number couldn't be reached. According to Mpasu, their camp is being represented by Kubwalo who once served as Malawi High Commissioner to Tanzania.
MaraPost also contacted Moses Dossi, a senior member of the party, but he refused to comment on the matter despite indicating in passing that the meeting is on Tuesday afternoon.
“I have my own issues to work out; leaders of the two camps are the ones who can give you more details not me,” said Dossi when asked.
But MaraPost has established that the “Invisible Hand” is former president Bakili Muluzi some party members have long accused of sponsoring the Makwangwala camp which also supports Atupele Muluzi, Bakili's son, who had his own presidential ambitions before being appointed a cabinet minister in the government of national unity of Joyce Banda.
Last week Jumbe and Mpasu claimed that the senior Muluzi was financing the forthcoming October 31 convention of party to ensure his son sailed through as presidential candidate. Malawi's next presidential elections will take place in 2014.
(c) The Maravi Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited