The battle lines in Malawi Congress Party (MCP) continue to get thicker and bloodier as the party’s leader obtained an order from the court restraining Secretary General Gustav Kaliwo from proceeding to hold an emergency convention on July 7 2017.
For the past one year or so, Chakwera has been working on consolidating his power as party president by hounding to the periphery some senior party members who have questioned his conduct and surrounded himself with sycophants and hand clappers such as second deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka.
Kaliwo is one of the victims of Chakwera’s sneaky politicking as his purges of senior members in the party have caused a deep rift in the country’s main opposition party. According to Kaliwo, who was handpicked as SG by Chakwera himself, the convention’s purpose was to heal the rift. Chakwera’s decision to get a restraining order seems to eminate from his insecurity of whether the delegates would allow him to conitnue his mandate as the party’s president and potential hopeful as its presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections.
In an affidavit dated June 9 2017, Chakwera argues that Kaliwo did not seek the approval of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for an emergency convention to be held. He further questions the legitimacy of some members who Kaliwo is working with in organising the now called off convention. Chakwera describes the convention idea as “wrongful and illegal”.
Kaliwo, a lawyer by profession, announced the convention last month at a press briefing in Blantyre and followed it up last week with a notice in the press on the dates and the delegates to the convention. Chakwera was among those invited to the convention. During his announcement in May, Kaliwo told the media he was calling for a convention to sort out the wrangling that has rocked the party and to regularize some of the party positions.