"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

'Gwanda unhappy with Muluzi'

The future of the alliance between the UDF and its partners for the forthcoming general elections hangs in the balance following fears and allegations from the New Republican Party (NRP) that UDF is supporting deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka-Nkhoma in Nsanje North, the base for NRP’s president Gwanda Chakuamba.
NRP and other alliance partners also said on Tuesday that UDF has betrayed them by fielding candidates in constituencies deemed strongholds for them, which is contrary to the yet-to-be signed Memorandum of Understanding between the two sides.
NRP deputy president Ken Zikhale Ng’oma said Chakuamba is not happy with UDF and Muluzi for allegedly rendering support to Mcheka-Nkhoma where Chakuamba is also standing as a candidate.
“But we have not fielded candidates in Machinga which is UDF’s stronghold,” said Zikhale on Tuesday.
 But Mcheka-Nkhoma has described claims by NRP, that she is receiving support from UDF, as ‘unfair’. She denied getting any money or assistance from the UDF. She said she is standing as an independent candidate. 
Zikhale said UDF has not even respected constituencies of Kamlepo Kalua (Rumphi East) where it has fielded Machipisa Munthali and his own constituency (Nkhata Bay South) where someone is also standing as an independent candidate.
Zikhale said an example where UDF has fielded an independent is his own constituency where he said there is the wife of UDF’s new national organising secretary Nicholas Kachingwe.
“I have asked the party to reverse that but there is no response yet,” he said.   
Spokesperson for UDF and its alliance partners Humphrey Mvula said on Tuesday: “It is very difficult to comment on the matter. It has not been brought before the alliance committee. It is an issue that can be resolved.”
But he said UDF has no powers over candidates who have been UDF for a long a long time and have decided to stand as independents or on the party’s ticket.
Mvula refused to comment on Machipisa Munthali’s candidature in Kamlepo Kalua’s Rumphi East constituency but cited him as one of the long time members of the party.
On claims that the party is supporting Mcheka-Nkhoma, Mvula said: “There is no contract between us and Mcheka-Nkhoma. We have respected Gwanda.”
Mvula expressed concern that the alliance partners did not raise the concerns at a meeting they had on Friday last week.
But another alliance partner, president of the Malavi People’s Party (MPP) Uladi Mussa said it is counter-productive to the alliance when it fields different candidates.
Mussa who disclosed that there is no MOU on paper for the alliance concurred with Zikhale that UDF has fielded candidates in several constituencies save for his Salima South describing the development as failure by the alliance to work together.
“We arranged that leaders of the parties should sort out who would represent the alliance. There was one voice at the presidential level different voices at the parliamentary level. It is not a major problem but to understand one another,” Mussa said.
Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) president DP Kamlepo Kalua said the problem came about because many candidates rushed to present their nomination papers with or without consent from their parties.
Kamlepo said some of the problems were ironed out among the alliance partners. However, he said it was difficult to control independents, especially in the north.
He refused to comment further saying: “I do not want to wash dirty linen in public. We discuss those issues in our alliance.” But he attacked Zikhale Ng’oma for saying that UDF also fielded a candidate in his constituency.
“Let Zikhale take care of his constituency and leave mine alone. He is not my spokesperson. If he has problems with the alliance, let him complain for himself,” he said.
Congress for Democrats (Code) president Ralph Kasambara said he could not comment on alliance issues in the media. He said his party’s relationship with UDF is well.
A Chancellor College political analyst Happy Kayuni said on Wednesday that UDF is justified to field its candidates because the alliance partners are not significant enough to bring a difference to the party.
“UDF knows that the alliance partners are weak, hence it is not a surprise that it has fielded candidates in their territories,” Kayuni said adding: “The only partner who would have been significant was Gwanda but he is not as strong as he was in 2004 when he would command the entire Shire Valley.”
UDF entered into an alliance with NRP, MDP, MDU, MPP and Congress for the Democrats (Code).
Meanwhile, there are divisions in MPP with its secretary general Paul Maulidi defecting to the Democratic Progressive Party. The party has since suspended him.
Maulidi said on Wednesday that MPP was in a working alliance with DPP and that it has severed its link with UDF, citing lack of MOU with the party among other reasons.
But MPP president Uladi Mussa described Maulidi’s assertions as “untrue and done unilaterally”.
During the launch of DPP’s manifesto in Mchinji on Wednesday, DPP secretary general Henry Chimunthu Banda said MPP led by Maulidi and Congress for National Unity (Conu) whose president is Bishop Daniel Mnkhumbwe are supporting DPP.


1 comment:

Ivo Serentha and Friends said...

Greetings from Italy,good luck

Marlow