DPP may be out power but the party isn't broke, Abel Wezzi reports
LILONGWE--The former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is believed to be the richest party in the country at the moment, MaraPost can reveal.
Sources say the party’s elections war chest runs into billions of kwacha, thanks to seven years in power since its formation.
The party, according to insiders, has direct cash in bank accounts and one account at one of the commercial banks is about K600 million. They say signatories to the account are party leader Prof. Peter Mutharika and Dr. George Chaponda.
“There have been a few challenges as some of the expenditures have been incurred mainly by the Professor and his assistant Ben Phiri without the knowledge of Chaponda. At one point they almost quarreled,” said a party source.
Another source said about K22 billion was lying idle at the house of a senior party leader (name withheld).
The party recently bought new vehicles including a utility Land Rover vehicle retrofitted with a public address system and flexed its financial muscle to lure back some of its MPs and other officials who had defected to the ruling People’s Party, sources said.
“Honourable Rabson Chihaula Shaba was paid close to K5 million to entice him back into the party. There are Journalists now on the pay roll of the DPP and also many others in PP who are trying to come back. After the PP convention you will see defections as most people are frustrated in that party,” a DPP official said.
Two DPP pickup vehicles BP 8656 and BP 8593 were seen on the eve of Mutharika’s rally in Mzuzu carrying some of its Youth Cadets who distributed money to people putting up flags in the city.
“On Sunday morning, a bus came at Katoto Taxi rank and fueled all taxis, almost 44 of them full tanks and they paid cash. They later paid all taxi drivers K10, 000 each to drive on the front of Peter’s convoy,” said a Taxi driver in the city.
The bus, which is also being used by a group of young professionals dubbed Blue Professionals, is said to have also visited the Chibanja bicycle rank where everyone there was paid K5,000 to have their bicycles painted blue and be on the convoy of Mutharika.
As the largest party in the country, DPP receives the largest share of Parliamentary funding after it won over 100 seats in 2009. Secretary General Wakuda Kamanga is on record saying Pres Bingu wa Mutharika - he died in April this year – kept tabs on the party’s resources.
Vice President Khumbo Kachali told a meeting he addressed after opening a new Azam soap plant at Luwinga recently that the DPP was plundering the “deceased’s estate” and urged Malawians to go and spend all the money which he said belonged to them.
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment