30 April 2017

Malawi: Chakwera, Kaliwo Don't See Eye to Eye - MCP's Sg Accuses Party President of Snubbing Him

Photo: Nyasa Times
Malawi Congress Party President Lazarous Chakwera.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General, Gustav Kaliwo has revealed the degree of his relationship with the party's president, Lazarus Chakwera, disclosing they have not faced each other for eight months.

Kaliwo and Chakwera have had a restrained relationship since last year. And in September 2016, the trained lawyer issued out a strong worded nine-paged letter raising concerns over the party leadership.

Addressing the media on Saturday in Blantyre, Kaliwo while announcing the party's emergency convention disclosed that Chakwera has been snubbing his calls to have a face to face meeting to resolve their differences and some of the internal squabbles that have plunged the party into chaotic state.

"The last time I met the president (Chakwera) is in August 2016. Ever since we only bumped into each other at funerals, of which I don't consider to be formal meetings," disclosed Kaliwo.

Kaliwo said all his efforts to meet the leader of opposition in Parliament have failed to materialize as Chakwera kept on snubbing him without any justification or explanation.

"I have made formal requests to meet him through his personal email, which we usually use to communicate. I was expecting a response. I have patiently been waiting but he has not responded to me," said Kaliwo

He then accused Chakwera of using the party's administrative secretary Potipher Chidaya to communicate, ignoring his calls to meet and find solutions to the party's problems at a time people are starting losing hope in the party.

Kaliwo said he could not use phone calls to converse with Chakwera on party problems, arguing "I need a recorded conversation that's why I formally requested the meeting through the email. I avoided phone calls. He didn't not respond but used somebody to communicate.

"My juniors cannot respond to issues between me and the president. I was told I should wait until his (Chakwera's) dairy permits, and then we will meet. I have decided to take charge as secretary general and resolve issues the party supporters and members have been raising."

Chakwera could not immediately comment , saying he was attending a meeting.

When asked about Chakwera's abuse of party funds claims, Kaliwo said he did not have information on the issue but urged the party to address the issues.

"I have been at pains to explain what is going on in Malawi Congress Party. People are losing hope. Malawi Congress Party has been known for unity and discipline and now it is degenerating into this state. I am concerned as people keep on asking questions of what is going on. I was hoping we resolve our issues internally than washing our dirty laundry in public," he added.

On Saturday Kaliwo announced the party will hold a convention from July 7th to July 9th, 2016 at yet to be disclosed venue to resolve the internal squabbles that have plunged the party into chaotic state.

"I have had meetings with almost 23 committees from various districts across the country who requested me to call for a convention. Time is running out, as Malawi Congress Party we need to put our house in order if we are to have any chance in 2019. Therefore, I am today announcing a convention," said Kaliwo.

According to Article 40 of the MCP constitution, an emergency convention can only be called if the party's national executive committee resolves by two thirds of its membership, or at the request of half of the number of the district committees.

Kaliwo challenged that he has a backing of more than half of the party's district committees to call for the convention and his move has a blessing of some of the executive committee members.

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