Who will benefit or lose out of mass DPP expulsions?

The Disciplinary Committee of the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has finally delivered its long-awaited verdict on perceived party rebels Kondwani Nankhumwa and Co.

The committee has handed Nankhumwa and his accomplices what can best be described as ‘stiff sentence to deter would-be offenders’. Expulsions and suspensions!

For the sake of records, DPP has been in a protracted war with its former vice president for the South, Nankhumwa, estranged Secretary General (SG), Grezelder Jeffrey, fired National Publicity Secretary, Nicholas Dausi and Mark Botomani, among others.

The squabbles became tense, forcing Nankhumwa to drag party leader Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to court for as much as 14 times, just in a year (2023), yet there was no solution in sight.

Towards the end of 2023, Jeffrey called for the National Governing Council (NGC) meeting, which was held at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe. However, the party distanced itself from the resolutions from the meet.

It went further to sanction disciplinary action against Jeffrey and others. And in a landmark ruling, the Disciplinary Committee has pronounced expulsions and suspensions on Nankhumwa and others.

Nankhumwa after appearing before DPP Disciplinary Committee on 4 January 2024

While DPP spokesperson Shadric Namalomba is confident that these expulsions and suspensions will help in rebuilding the once mighty DPP, governance and political analysts hold different views.

Wonderful Mkhutche opines, for example, that the expulsions are a message that DPP’s troubles are far from over, warning that the expelled members will mount a legal and political fight for the place in the party.

Of course, Mkhutche admits that it will be a challenge for the ‘rebels’ to succeed as their fate was sealed after the court decision that led them to disciplinary measures.

“The expelled members were prominent members of the party and as such, they have a following. Therefore, a section of the party will leave with them should they go while leaving some supporters disgruntled. DPP is showing signs that it is not ready for next year’s elections. Till today, we do not know who will lead the party and how the party will reorganize itself. Although people are not satisfied with Tonse Alliance, DPP is not showing signs of a stable opposition party that can lead. As it is currently, DPP is far from winning next year’s elections, unless it stabilizes itself and hunts for sensible electoral alliances,” he narrated.

In his analysis, Dr George Chaima said the decision by the DPP has proved to the world that it is an undemocratic party.

“This is Iscariotic political suicide which is aimed at nothing but weeding away the party from political gymnastic glance. Obviously, the party will panic a lot to fill the gap it has created. It is currently difficult to identify the calibre of the people equal to the heavyweight it has ejected from the long established party system. I don’t see anyone left in the party who has the courage to say No to what is wrong and YES to what deserves yes. This action will weaken and divide the party more than ever before. We should expect a massive exodus of its members soon,” said Chaima.

Chaima said the expulsions and suspensions will give the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) an edge at the 2025 tripartite elections.

“It’s all smiles for MCP all the way to the 2025 general elections. DPP cannot mark to defend the goal. That is the end of its dirty road that started with fights and divisions after losing elections. The alternative government is lost and hope for Malawians is gone,” he said.

Meanwhile, expelled NGC members Kenneth Msonda and Joe Thomas Nyirongo have vowed to fight their party to the last.

Both Msonda and Nyirongo have said they are ready to fight the party for digging their political graves.

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