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Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Dausi quits MCP…Joins ruling DPP…MCP retrogressive
10:09:49 - 09 July 2007

Vice-President for main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Nicholas Dausi Sunday dumped the party and joined ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Announcing his defection at his Mwanza home, Dausi said he had decided to practice politics with the DPP because the party’s President Bingu wa Mutharika had accorded former president late Hastings Kamuzu Banda the respect he deserved by building a mausoleum for him and proposing a statue for him in the 2007/08 national budget.

“I will respect anyone who respects Kamuzu. He who builds a tombstone for your departed father is your relative,” Dausi told a jubilant crowd at Mwanza, in reference to the mausoleum that government built in Lilongwe for Banda.

Top DPP officials namely first Vice-President Khumbo Kachali, Secretary General Hetherwick Ntaba, Director of International Cooperation Davis Katsonga, who is MP for Mwanza Central Constituency, first Vice-Publicity Secretary Wyson Mkochi and Senior Political Advisor for Mutharika, Francis Mphepo, just to mention a few, witnessed Dausi’s unveiling to the DPP folk.

The officials hugged and shook hands with Dausi and smiled broadly as DPP women spiced the welcoming party with chants in praise of Mutharika and Dausi.

The former MCP diehard, known for his love of bombastic words as MCP spokesperson, said he was not happy with MCP’s insistence to put to the fore implementation of Section 65--that deals with MPs crossing the floor--ahead of the national budget.

“But I could not swallow it when staying in the MCP would mean frustrating the 2007 national budget where an allocation has been made to erect a statue of Ngwazi Dr H. Kamuzu Banda,” said Dausi, who used to be Banda’s bodyguard.

Dausi joined DPP alongside the party’s Regional Treasurer Stand Mgunda and his deputy Joseph Kangulu and scores of other executive members, who, donning Kamuzu cloth, presented themselves to the audience.

Asked why he decided to join DPP now when the party was formed in 2005, Dausi said: “This is the time to protect him [Mutharika]”.

Dausi, who was defeated twice by Katsonga in 1999 and 2004 parliamentary elections in the constituency, said on his political future: “Politics is a continuous struggle and it has its own logic. I’ve told a few colleagues that I have quit the party out of logic. It’s purely a matter of principle. I have no grudges against Honourable John Tembo.”

Kachali said Mutharika welcomed Dausi in the party and appealed to members to treat him as their own.

He said it was up to DPP to find a new role for Dausi in the party, as he held senior positions in his former party.

Ntaba, a former MCP guru as well, praised Dausi, saying he had made the right decision to quit MCP.

He said Dausi, as a vice-president, had left a huge gap in MCP.

Ntaba put the number of MCP defectors at 63, saying more opposition MPs had telephoned him, wishing to join the DPP.

On his part, Katsonga advised Dausi to strengthen the party in the constituency, saying there would be no rivalry between them.

Dausi served as Banda’s aide from the 1980s till the former president’s death in 1997.

He rose up the MCP ranks when Gwanda Chakuamba, now New Republican Party (NRP) leader, was at the helm of the party.

But Dausi grew further in political stature when he relentlessly campaigned against former president Bakili Muluzi’s bid for a third term in office.

When Chakuamba ditched MCP in 2004 ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections, Dausi clung to MCP and was the only prominent MCP voice in the South.

Dausi in the early 1990s was arrested by the UDF government for making a public apology to the nation for atrocities the MCP regime committed in the country.

His resignation leaves MCP with Tembo as a lone president without deputies.

Former MCP first Vice-President Peter Chiwona resigned from the party and joined DPP in 2005.

MCP has not yet filled the vacancy, including that of Secretary General left by Kate Kainja, MP for Dedza, who quit the party this year to join DPP.

There was no immediate comment from MCP as both the party’s president John Tembo and publicity secretary for parliamentary affairs Ishmael Chafukira were addressing a rally in Kasungu.

“Call me at 6pm I am at a rally here in Kasungu,” said Chafukira with Tembo in the background addressing the rally.

We could not get Chafukira later in the evening.

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