| Malawi Congress Party (MCP) MPs have warned their president John Tembo against throwing his weight behind the indictment of President Bingu wa Mutharika because he may not get the presidency or head the proposed National Governing Council (NGC). |
The MPs also fear that the United Democratic Front (UDF), which is baying for Mutharika’s blood, only wants to use Tembo and his numbers in Parliament and later leave him in the cold after the President’s impeachment.
The MPs sounded the warning during their caucus held on Wednesday night at Tembo’s Area 10 residence in the capital Lilongwe.
Three MCP MPs who attended the caucus said on Sunday the popular view at the meeting was that “the proposal to have Tembo to lead the NGC was just a mere carrot dangled in front of Tembo’s nose but he risks not getting it as the Constitution is clear that the Vice President takes over when there is a vacancy in the office of the president.”
“Most of the MPs felt that the idea of an NGC might not work as it can be challenged in court. And on top of that the members felt that there was no commitment on the part of the UDF to ensure that JZU heads the council,” said one of the sources who asked for anonymity.
Section 83 (4) of the Constitution reads: “whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice President shall assume that office for the remainder of the term and shall appoint another person to serve as first Vice President for the remainder of the term.”
But the sources said Tembo remained adamant and told them that he would meet the UDF national chairman Bakili Muluzi and the Vice President Cassim Chilumpha where the three would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) guaranteeing that Tembo should take over and that Chilumpha should not “make noise” should Mutharika’s indictment succeed.
Meanwhile, the sources said, a number of MCP MPs have agreed not to support the UDF-led motion for fear of being used.
The party is yet to hold another secret meeting Monday to persuade Tembo to withdraw his support from the impeachment motion.
MCP spokesperson Bintony Kutsaila and Tembo could not be reached for comment Sunday but vice president Nicholas Dausi said he did not know the party held such a meeting.
Chief whip Betson Majoni could not comment as he said he was in church when contacted.
In a related development, the High Court last Friday granted Karonga Nyungwe MP Richard Msowoya an injunction restraining Parliament from indicting President Mutharika on Thursday.
"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"
Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)
Monday, October 24, 2005
Posted by Anti-Muluzi at 11:13 AM