Jan 21, 2018 Last Updated 8:52 PM, Jan 19, 2018

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Some say this party carries the curse of the seven bishops they nearly slaughtered. Some say the party carries the curse of the dead it killed. Others say it is the curse of the 22,000 victims still seeking justice at the Ombudsman. 

Whatever,  but Malawi Congress Party always lapses into a circus of self-destructive confusion every time elections are coming close. 

Now the confusion has begun again. This time, it's a political crisis promising more confusion, chaos and bloodshed.

What has been slowly rising into a political storm suddenly turned into an ugly drama on Tuesday morning when Members of Parliament gathered at the party headquarters and attempted to fire the party's Vice President and their own Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya and Secretary General of the party, Gustav Kaliwo.

The debate was divided and heated. Threats of exchanging blows, swearing and banging tables characterised the meeting of the Honourable Members. 

Finally, 18 MPs stormed out in protest against the call by a pro-Chakwera camp to fire the Vice President and the Secretary General.

The remaining MPs went ahead and bound resolutions, which were leaked before the meeting closed.

Msowoya and Kaliwo are leading a camp that seeks to uphold MCP as a party that follows its constitution. Many say they represent the true MCP. 

But seeking democracy in Malawi Congress Party is a crime. In the process, they have become subjects of vindictive treatment, political bullying and civil victimization.

The MPs who insisted on firing the two senior officials questioned the constitutionality of the politburo (management committee). Ironically, this meeting of MPs is itself illegal given that, in the MCP Constitution, MPs cannot constitute any committee except when they are part of the Convention. Thus, an illegal assembly of MPs met to question the legality of a meeting convened by the bonafide Secretary General of the party.

On the other hand, Msowoya and his camp met and questioned the legality of Chakwera’s decision to invite to a management committee meeting members that are not recognized in the Constitution. 

That a section of MPs is questioning the constitutionality of the politburo goes to explain their desire to flagrantly breach their own principal laws. Article 3, Sections 4, 5 and 6 of MCP Constitution provides for a management committee -otherwise known as politburo. 

The meeting of the MPs itself at which some of them sought the sacking of their Deputy President and Secretary General is not provided for in the party’s constitution. In other words, it was unconstitutional. 

According to the party’s Constitution, the only time that the party can make such decisions is only during a convention and at no other time.    

 

ENTER ZIKHALE THE STRATEGIST

The chaotic situation in the MCP is made even more chaotic by Chakwera's strategist who specializes in leaking documents,  creating fake minutes of meetings that don't exist as well as fake Whatsapp conversations in order to embroil Msowoya in deeper trouble. 

Chakwera roped in Ken Zikhale Ng’oma to the chagrin of everyone when he gave him the position of a strategist. This position does not exist in the party’s constitution. Needless to say, it is only a convention that gives people positions. 

Be that as it may, it emerged that Zikhale’s strategy has been to destroy MCP, apparently without him knowing it.  

Amid the crisis, Zikhale has crafted two documents within the past four days. The documents have only been successful in driving the wedge deeper and deeper in MCP and leave its followers more and more confused and lost. 

Both documents malign Msowoya and his camp, while casting a hallo of holiness on Chakwera and his side. 

The first document to circulate claimed that Msowoya and his camp organized a meeting in Lilongwe where they agreed to form a party, the National Congress Party, with the aim to fight to change MCP. 

The document was basically intended to smear Msowoya and others and galvanize the sentiment that they should be fired from the party. 

Interestingly, in his short memory Zikhale forgot that National Congress Party already exists at the Registrar of Political Parties. It was registered by Heatherwick Ntaba some years back. It did not take a genius to decipher that the minutes were fake.

It simply did not convince anyone how Msowoya and Kaliwo would be fighting for democratic leadership and constitutionalism to fix MCP, and at the same time, that the same people should be seeking to form another political party. The political logic went missing.

Noting the failure of the first document, Zikhale has crafted alleged minutes of meeting of the Livingstonia Synod which went viral today. Chakwera must have approved the document.

The document is also a smear campaign by Zikhale to portray the image that the synod and the North in general have rejected Msowoya, and therefore propping up the sentiment that he needs to be fired from the party.

The strategy was to make people believe that Msowoya has disappointed the Synod, which wants to work with Chakwera. Reading in-between the lines and listening in-between the words, Chakwera and his strategist want Malawias to think that Msowoya has been rejected the North. 

One can see that Chakwera roped in Zikhale who is only antagonizing the conflict instead of strategizing to resolve it and let the party get organized for next elections.

THE MIA FACTOR

In roping in Mia, Chakwera thought he was bringing in a standard around which the party would rally. That has proven not to be the case. In fact, Mia is Chakwera's downfall.

Since his coming into MCP, Mia has been a polarizing figure and has continued to raise eyebrows with his desire to fly above the ordinary pitch. He is one of those responsible for tearing down MCP. 

Mia has behaved as a position holder in the party, calling the shots, often with Chakwera on the bicycle carrier, to the disgust of the rest of party loyalists. 

Mia has been campaigning nation-wide without other MCP officials and talking to Sheikhs of inheriting MCP. 

Today, he again lived up to his ambition again. He organized a press briefing in Blantyre where he welcomed people into the party. That has caused huge discomfort among some in MCP ranks who are asking: “Akulandira anthu ngati ndani munthu woti alibe udindo wina uliwonse muchipani?”

This should not be surprising. When Mia was joining the party at a function in Chikwawa, he came to the rally with pomp and fanfare. Being the one joining the party, protocol says Mia was supposed to be at the rally before Chakwera as president. Instead, it was Chakwera who was first. 

While Chakwera was seated in his chair, Mia drove in on his motorcade and Chakwera was the one rolling out the red carpet. Now truth can come out. Mia is feeling so big because he bought the President of the party out. Mia paid Chakwera K200 million, which the Reverend pocketed in his self-aggrandizement.

Mia’s conduct from the start has been a source of discontent in MCP.  

These actions of his have compounded speculations that he is building his political base for the top job in the party.  

Now Mia has become the party’s political monster, tearing it asunder as he grows wings ready to fly on his blind ambition to become the party’s president. 

A PARTY WITHOUT NEC

Amid all this chaos and because of it, MCP continues to fall further into the abyss because it does not have NEC. 

The absence of NEC means there is neither mechanism nor institution within the party that can provide easily acceptable leadership to resolve the political quagmire. That is the real tragedy of the Malawi Congress Party.

Chakwera dismantled NEC, chasing away those that were the real NEC and were ready to play the game by the rules of the party. 

In the end, Chakwera has built around himself a team of 73 members which he calls NEC. That NEC is unconstitutional. The real NEC is not functioning. 

So, without a centre, there is no one to hold things from falling apart. 

It has become a situation where football players have abandoned the pitch which is well demarcated, has regulations, referees and goal posts opting to play the game on a pitch where boundaries do not exist, where everyone is a referee, where there are no goals and where everyone plays in every position. 

This political circus of chaos has only begun.

While Msowoya and Kaliwo want the game to be played on a proper pitch, Chakwera and his followers want to play it on an unorganized pitch. 

This bloody crisis in MCP could be in its early stages! 

Then there is Mia the business magnet who bought the whole president of the party and is now working underground to steal the party from its veterans. The voters are watching, bewildered. This political tragedy reads like a comedy, but a comedy that will end in tears again!

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The positive trend of the Malawi inflation continues as the rate has gone further down to 7.1 percent for December 2017 from 7.7 percent in November 2017

Malawi started registering single digit inflation in August 2017 when the rate ticked down to 9.3 percent from 10.3 percent.

That achievement came 6 years from the last time Malawi economy chalked single digit inflation during late Bingu wa Mutharika's time.

From August 2017, the rate has kept slowing down every month, defying some analysts who predicted that the inflation would not stay single digit as Malawi entered lean period. 

Between September and February, inflation tend to rise due to a number of factors. Tobacco sales will have closed, food supply reduces and spending on agriculture inputs commences. 

However the economy is proving it is no longer seasonal as it is weathering the lean season confidently.

That the single digit was attained last year was  even remarkable as economic analysts had earlier forecast that Malawi could only register single digit inflation mid this year.

At the time President Peter Mutharika took over government in May 2014, inflation was around 24 percent and it was one of the highest in COMESA region.

Already battered by Joyce Banda's Cashgate, the economy suffered further from devastating floods in 2015 and then severe drought in 2016. 

 

The two natural disasters affected agriculture, the mainstay of Malawi's economy.

 

But government remained steadfast on its sound economic management policies which have helped to tame inflation. 

 

With the help of a good harvest last season, the raft of prudent financial management measures introduced and implemented by the Mutharika administration have restored confidence in the economy.

 

The economy is now on the path of recovery, experts agree.

 

The continued downward trend in inflation means prices of goods for consumers will remain stable.

 

High inflation rate leads to high cost of living, high cost of doing business and high cost of borrowing money for investment – all of which negatively affect the economy.

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During the meeting that members of Parliament of Malawi Congress Party had on Tuesday, January 16, 2018, the following resolutions were made

1. We are condemning in the strongest terms the letter written by the following people

a. First Deputy president, Richard Msowoya

b. Second Deputy President, Mr. McDonald Lombola

c. The Secretary General, Mr. Gustav Kaliwo

d. The First Secretary General, Mr. James Chatonda Kaunda

e. The Director of International Relations, Mr. Tony Kandiero

Who made serious allegations that the president, Rt. Hon. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, is breaking the constitution. We feel that, if they had issues, themselves being in the same office with the President, should have taken the initiative to solve the said problem. The Malawi Congress Party constitution does not have a politburo in its hear achy. The President never said anything about politburo in his press statement.  The 5 people are the one breaking the constitution by creating a structure called Politburo.

At no point did Dr. Lazarus Chakwera mention anything about dissolving the incumbent NEC. That power only rests in NEC meeting. The consultative meeting before December 1, 2017, has no legal mandate in our party structure unless ratified by NEC. And further to that, the president in his media interview, categorically made it clear that it was in the powers of Management and NEC to look into the communiqué of the consultative meeting.

2. MCP Members of Parliament have recommended that the Secretary General, Mr. Gustav Kaliwo should be suspended forthwith for the following reasons

a. He has absented himself with no reasons for more than three consecutive NEC meetings contrary to the MCP constitution

b. He has shown gross incompetence by failing to give policy direction to the party

c. He has absented himself from major party functions for two years, including the whole period of the 6 bi elections held in October 2017 without giving any reason

d. He has absented himself from a management meeting which he himself called without communicating to any member about the postponement of the said meeting

e. He has gone against our core principles of the four corner stones by convening parallel meetings and thereafter putting the same resolutions on party stationery, with members who have no mandate in the party

3. We recommend to the National Executive Committee to hold elective national conference, also known as National Convention by March 26, 2018, which is within the 60 day period, as per the constitution.

4. We endorse 100% the open door policy which Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has been advocating, which has seen people from all regions of the country joining the party, and we further encourage them to exercise their democratic right to contest for any position at the convention.

Thank you very much

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The rift in Malawi Congress Party is widening as the Richard Msowoya camp has slammed party president Lazarus Chakwera for continuing to violate the Constitution of the party. 

The highest politico of the party have described the Malawi Congress Party president's behaviour as "very perturbing and utterly unacceptable." 

The crux of the matter is that Chakwera continues to be undemocratic and inviting to management commiteee meetings members that are not recognized in the Constitution. 

Chakwera's abuse of the Constitution comes barely a month after he announced in a statement that in the interest of unity, the party had reinstated members he fired from the NEC.

 

It is now clear that Chakwera lied in the PR mantra that tried to cover up the deepening division. 

 

The letter has been signed by the highest officials of the party who, for sometime, have also been aggrieved by the backdoor entry into the party of Alhaji Sidik Mia who is now secretly plotting to boot out Chakwera.

 

Chakwera is now facing a war on two fronts from Mia and Msowoya who are both fighting for the presidency.

 

As things fall apart, Chakwera committed in their meeting in December that for the sake of unity, the party would invite to its managenent meetings only members recognized by the constitution of the party.

 

Chakwera earlier fired from NEC secretary general Gustave Kaliwo, Publicity Secretary Jessie Kabwila and Chatinkha Chizanja Nkhoma, among others, for opposing his dictatorial leadership style. These ousted members have now returned to haunt Chakwera.

 

In an attempt to heal the divisions, the party reinstated the fired members last month, although they were not welcome by those Chakwera had picked in their stead. But the letter now puts the claims of reunion under microscopic questioning.

 

In a communique which Chakwera himself and Kaliwo signed, they agreed that all NEC members, office bearers and party members would abide by the constitution for the sake of unity. 

 

Now it turns out that Chakwera did not mean what he signed for as he continues to violate the constitution he is supposed to lead in abiding by and defend. This is what has irked the politiburo and triggered the new letter.

 

In a letter addressed to him, senior NEC members have accused Chakwera of sustaining disunity by inviting to managenent committee meeting directors that are not recognized by the constitution of the party. 

 

Apparently, Chakwera finds sanctuary in these unrecognized members because they do not oppose his decisions. Chakwera is said to be a dictator from the time he was the president of the Malawi Assemblies of God.

 

"In others words,.you are persistently flouting the very fundamental principles of unity and (failing to abide by) the party constitution," reads the letter dated January 12, 2018.

 

It is signed by first deputy president Richard Msowoya, second deputy president Macdonald Lombola, secretary general Gusatve Kaliwo, treasurer general Tony Kandiero and deputy secretary general James Kaunda. The calibre of the signatories show a formidable force of rebellion facing the former cleric.

 

The five senior members conclude:

 

"We find this behaviour on your part very perturbing and utterly unacceptable." 

 

The members called for the cancellation of a NEC meeting scheduled for today January 13 until the matter is resolved.

 

One thing Chakwera has been successful in doing as MCP leader is to destroy the unity of the party. In fact, some analysts fear that the worst of the divisions is yet to come as Mia plots to take over the party.

 

On Sunday, 14th January, Mia is meeting his inner team in Mangochi to strategize. The meeting was supposed to be in Zomba but it suddenly moved to Mangochi for fear of being uncovered.

 

Chakwera hired Mia and sidelined the veterans of the party. He has been kicking out those who do not agree with his appetite to make unilateral decisions.

 

Mia's arrival has split the party further. The aggrieved members are vindicated as Mia has launched a fierce underground campaign to snatch the party presidency from Chakwera.

 

Now Chakwera faces another war from Msowoya and the ranks of the aggrieved. It appears to be the beginning of turmoil in the Malawi Congress Party.

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The rift in Malawi Congress Party is widening as the Richard Msowoya camp has slammed party president Lazarus Chakwera for continuing to violate the Constitution of the party. 

The highest politico of the party have described the Malawi Congress Party president's behaviour as "very perturbing and utterly unacceptable." 

The crux of the matter is that Chakwera continues to be undemocratic and inviting to management commiteee meetings members that are not recognized in the Constitution. 

Chakwera's abuse of the Constitution comes barely a month after he announced in a statement that in the interest of unity, the party had reinstated members he fired from the NEC.

 

It is now clear that Chakwera lied in the PR mantra that tried to cover up the deepening division. 

 

The letter has been signed by the highest officials of the party who, for sometime, have also been aggrieved by the backdoor entry into the party of Alhaji Sidik Mia who is now secretly plotting to boot out Chakwera.

 

Chakwera is now facing a war on two fronts from Mia and Msowoya who are both fighting for the presidency.

 

As things fall apart, Chakwera committed in their meeting in December that for the sake of unity, the party would invite to its managenent meetings only members recognized by the constitution of the party.

 

Chakwera earlier fired from NEC secretary general Gustave Kaliwo, Publicity Secretary Jessie Kabwila and Chatinkha Chizanja Nkhoma, among others, for opposing his dictatorial leadership style. These ousted members have now returned to haunt Chakwera.

 

In an attempt to heal the divisions, the party reinstated the fired members last month, although they were not welcome by those Chakwera had picked in their stead. But the letter now puts the claims of reunion under microscopic questioning.

 

In a communique which Chakwera himself and Kaliwo signed, they agreed that all NEC members, office bearers and party members would abide by the constitution for the sake of unity. 

 

Now it turns out that Chakwera did not mean what he signed for as he continues to violate the constitution he is supposed to lead in abiding by and defend. This is what has irked the politiburo and triggered the new letter.

 

In a letter addressed to him, senior NEC members have accused Chakwera of sustaining disunity by inviting to managenent committee meeting directors that are not recognized by the constitution of the party. 

 

Apparently, Chakwera finds sanctuary in these unrecognized members because they do not oppose his decisions. Chakwera is said to be a dictator from the time he was the president of the Malawi Assemblies of God.

 

"In others words,.you are persistently flouting the very fundamental principles of unity and (failing to abide by) the party constitution," reads the letter dated January 12, 2018.

 

It is signed by first deputy president Richard Msowoya, second deputy president Macdonald Lombola, secretary general Gusatve Kaliwo, treasurer general Tony Kandiero and deputy secretary general James Kaunda. The calibre of the signatories show a formidable force of rebellion facing the former cleric.

 

The five senior members conclude:

 

"We find this behaviour on your part very perturbing and utterly unacceptable." 

 

The members called for the cancellation of a NEC meeting scheduled for today January 13 until the matter is resolved.

 

One thing Chakwera has been successful in doing as MCP leader is to destroy the unity of the party. In fact, some analysts fear that the worst of the divisions is yet to come as Mia plots to take over the party.

 

On Sunday, 14th January, Mia is meeting his inner team in Mangochi to strategize. The meeting was supposed to be in Zomba but it suddenly moved to Mangochi for fear of being uncovered.

 

Chakwera hired Mia and sidelined the veterans of the party. He has been kicking out those who do not agree with his appetite to make unilateral decisions.

 

Mia's arrival has split the party further. The aggrieved members are vindicated as Mia has launched a fierce underground campaign to snatch the party presidency from Chakwera.

 

Now Chakwera faces another war from Msowoya and the ranks of the aggrieved. It appears to be the beginning of turmoil in the Malawi Congress Party.

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