Democratic Progressive Party Vice President for the Eastern Region, Bright Msaka, has refused to be part of a shadow cabinet that was constituted last week by his Southern Region counterpart, Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Msaka, who is also parliamentarian for Machinga Likwenu constituency, was appointed into the shadow cabinet in the role of Minister of Justice.
In a letter addressed to Nankhumwa, Msaka wrote “As you are aware, the leadership of our party, does not agree with the manner in which the shadow cabinet was appointed. The DPP leadership does not recognize the shadow cabinet. I am part of the DPP leadership that does not recognize the shadow cabinet. Accordingly, please be informed that I don’t belong to the shadow cabinet.”
The rejection by Msaka further detriments the already fragile relations in the former ruling party which is going through a brutal power struggle between Nankhumwa and current leader Peter Mutharika.
Hours after the shadow cabinet was announced, the DPP rubbished it on the premise that it is a useless exercise in a hybrid Presidential and Parliamentary system of government.
The party also claimed that it had not been consulted in the appointment of the said shadow cabinet and those appointed in it have no authority whatsoever to speak on behalf of the party in the National Assembly.
Despite the party hiding the main reasons behind such a move, Malawians have already concluded that this is an extension of the ongoing power squabbles in the party pitting former leader Mutharika against Nankhumwa.
The Leader of Opposition has openly challenged Mutharika on his intention to handpick his successor, Dalitso Kabambe, which he says is against the party’s constitution.
In a pure vendetta act, the DPP has also challenged all decisions that Nankhumwa has made in Parliament including the recent shadow cabinet.
Physical and verbal fights have become a consistent feature since they lost power in 2020. The bone of contention has been on when a convention should be held.
The Nankhumwa camp has been opting for an early emergency convention to iron out the leadership issue while Mutharika insists that the party will go to a convention in 2023 to elect not only his successor but the party’s torchbearer at the 2025 Presidential election.
Interestingly DPP’s main partner, United Democratic Front, also distanced themselves from the shadow cabinet though it has included some of its members. Party leader Atupele Muluzi openly expressed displeasure for not being consulted in the selection of the shadow cabinet.