"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"
Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Vice President Cassim Chilumpha has said “only the insane and mad politicians” can abandon a political party that sponsored them into positions, arguing that in civilised politics the only reasonable thing for such people is to resign.
But government has described the VP’s remarks as unfortunate, saying President Bingu wa Mutharika has never forced Chilumpha to join the DPP.
Chilumpha made the remarks during a rally he addressed in Namwera, Mangochi, on Sunday soon after he graced a Paper Sunday offertory at Namwera CCAP Church.
“It is like when you have appointed someone a chief in a village and after sometime you tell those people who appointed you that you are moving out of that village and establish another village somewhere. What would you say about that man? You would say he is mad, he is insane,” he said, amid ululation from supporters.
“When you leave the party that ushered you into a position you are supposed to resign. In civilised politics that is what is supposed to happen, you resign from your position.
“In Parliament there are rules as well, that when you leave a party that sponsored you it means you have crossed the floor. I am challenging whoever can dispute this fact to come forward,” said Chilumpha, whose remarks apply to those who left their original parties, including the President, who resigned from the United Democratic Front (UDF) that sponsored his 2004 successful presidential bid.
The Vice President reiterated his position that he was not ready to leave the UDF even if it means being fired from government.
He said there was no way anyone could take him to task on that position since it was his freedom and he would “stubbornly” not let go what he is believing in.
“You mandated me to be your Vice President and voted for a clasped hands symbol. Check on that ballot paper, there was the presidential candidate on top and below it there was my name. It is not possible for me to leave the party. Where should I go? Whether someone has left, that’s not my business,” said Chilumpha.
He also called upon UDF leaders not to be swayed by the current political climate in the country by moving out of the party but to remain loyal to it and its national chairman Bakili Muluzi.
On the food situation in the country, Chilumpha said government in collaboration with donor countries was doing everything possible to make sure that maize is available in Admarc markets as well as for free distribution to the needy.
He, however, called on those who have little food to assist those who have nothing, instead of waiting for government’s assistance.
Chilumpha also asked religious leaders to organise countrywide prayers to have God’s indulgence in the crisis.
Commenting on Chilumpha’s statement, government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati said it was unfortunate that the Vice President was speaking as if President Bingu wa Mutharika has ever forced him to join the DPP.
“President Mutharika has never forced anyone to join the DPP. As the second citizen of this country we have a lot of respect for him, we also expect him to respect the President and those who have left the UDF. We have never embarrassed anyone including the VP. As our number two man and a lawyer, he is aware that those people he is calling mad have their rights too,” she said.
Chilumpha has remained in the UDF after Mutharika abandoned it, but his relationship with his boss has never been clear with speculation that the two do not see eye to eye.
Since the fallout, the Vice President’s position has never been clear. Recently, during a function in the same district, Chilumpha said he would not abandon those who voted for him even if it meant him being fired from government.
Story by The Nation
Posted by Anti-Muluzi at 12:58 PM