MZUZU--Former ruling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) on Sunday welcomed back its prodigal parliamentarians after their brief stint with the governing People’s Party.
They were welcomed by interim President Arthur Peter Mutharika at a rally held in Balaka.
The MPs left after the death of Pres Bingu wa Mutharika in April but since their departure, the DPP has been relentless in demanding that Section 65 of the country’s constitution which doesn’t allow MPs to join another party represented in parliament.
If Section 65 was applied, the MPs would lose their seats.
DPP went into opposition after Mutharika’s death since then vice president Joyce Banda was the next in line. Banda had remained the country’s vice president after she was expelled in 2010 apparently for refusing to endorse Pres Mutharika’s plan to have his younger brother, Peter, to succeed him in 2014.
After her dismissal from DPP, Joyce Banda formed People’s Party but when she took power, PP didn’t have its own MPs. She appointed a cabinet from all members represented in parliament including those from DPP. While some MPs said they’d become Independent, others joined PP, prompting DPP to demand that their seats should be declared vacant.
The parliamentarians who are now back in DPP are Steve Kamwendo (Bwanje North), Damson Chimalira (Ntcheu South), Everton Chimulirenji (Ntcheu North East) and Assani Lipande (Ntcheu North). Others are Bofomo Immanuel Nyirenda (Mzimba Luwerezi), Shadreck Jonasi (Lilongwe City Central) and Francis Banda (Mchinji South West).
Commenting on the governing PP convention which starts Monday, Mutharika said his party wished them well and said allowing such a gathering was a sign that democracy was growing in Malawi.
“We are all Malawians and we need to support each other. The PP convention is for the benefit of our beautiful country. They invited us and we are going to send our representative. We are also going to invite them during our convention in November, this is democracy and modern politics at work,” said Mutharika.
The rally was also attended by senior party members Goodall Gondwe, Jean Kalilani, George Chaponda, Henry Mussa, Patricia Kaliati, Yunus Mussa, Paul Chibingu, Christopher Ngwira and Kingsley Namankhwa.
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.