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Thursday, June 13, 2024

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    Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is never short of controversy. With the once-buoyant party already wallowing in leadership crisis, it has emerged that former president Peter Mutharika plans to be the party’s torch bearer in 2025 presidential elections.

    Multiple sources within the party have confirmed that the aging leader is now clinging to the party throne, apparently discrediting other aspirants.

    Meanwhile, tongues are wagging among other presidential hopefuls for the party who have expressed their frustration over Mutharika’s planned move.

    One source who is a member of the party’s politburo said: “The former president is itching to be on the ballot paper in 2025 and he says he is very ready to run. But as he prepares, other aspirants feel dejected. The plan is that in 2023, the president will announce his intention to stand and will justify his decision by saying the party has resolved that he is endorsed. He will rebuke all other aspirants for fueling leadership crisis over the years.”

    The source said Mutharika’s plan B is to have his wife Getrude stand on the ballot in an event that he chickens out on eleventh hour.

    Mutharika set to return as DPP candidate in 2025

    Meanwhile, three other heavyweights who have already expressed interest to vie for the party’s presidency feel vexed by Mutharika’s plans.

    The trio include ex-ministers Bright Msaka, and Joseph Mwanamvekha as well as former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe.

    The former central bank head was introduced into mainstream politics in January 2021 by DPP regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha.

    Then, Mchacha promised that his regional committee would be unveiling other presidential hopefuls, starting with estranged DPP Vice President for the south Kondwani Nankhumwa. But one year down the line, that has not happened yet.

    In previous interviews, Mchacha also dismissed suggestions that Mutharika had endorsed Kabambe as his successor, saying the former head of State will ensure a level playing field and “let the best candidate win at the convention.”

    At some point, political scientist Mustafa Hussein, who also teaches at Chancellor College, gave Kabambe 50-50 chances to win at the convention, saying in his role at the central bank he was close to DPP party leadership.

    But Peter Chisi, who works as director of civil and political rights at Malawi Human Rights Commission but speaking in his personal capacity, said he would give Kabambe 20 percent chance to win.

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