The Making Of Another MCP Dictator: Chakwera Fires Jumbe As Shadow Minister
Leader of main opposition party in the national assembly, Malawi Congress Party, Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwera has run changes to the ranks in the party firing outspoken shadow minister of Agriculture, Salima Central legislature Felix Jumbe and replacing him with Vitus Dzoole Mwale – MP from Lilongwe Msozi South.
This development comes barely a week after scuffles in a church with retired regional chairperson for Lakeshore Region, Bauleni Mkweza at Thavite in Salima and later incumbent party District Chairman for Salima Langizani Mapulesi and his Secretary Zambezi were ruffled up and chased from a rally organized in the afternoon of the same day.
“We have shuffled some committee’s representation in the house but nothing unusual, it’s just restrategising as a party,” explained party whip Lobin Lowe when asked if indeed MCP has rung some changes in the August house.
He declined to list down the names of those that have been moved from which committee to the other citing that the names are yet to be gazette by the speaker of parliament.
For some time, Jumbe and Chakwera have had issues with each other although they had been one team after the 2013 convention in which all of them contested for the presidency and Chakwera triumphed. He later picked Jumbe as Campaign Director.
The two had a fallout after the election when the Chakwera team proposed that the presidency should not be contested in a convention slated for 2018 and Jumbe stood his ground that that would be undemocratic.
“Since Jumbe indicated that he would rather have all positions contested for at the 2018 convention for the party to maintain democratic values he was labelled a DPP plant and has since been at loggerheads with party leadership that he was demoted to Deputy Director of Research almost immediately,” explained a concerned MCP MP who opted for anonymity.
He added that: “The squabbles in the party between Jumbe and his team of Kabwila and Njobvuyalema on one side and the Chakwera camp championed by youthful Lilongwe political tacticians, Maxwell Thyolera, Eisenhower Mkaka, Lobin Lowe; Dowa East MP Richard Chimwendo Banda and Kasungu based legislature Dr. Amon Nkhata.
A shadow cabinet is supposed to assist the leadership formulate alternative policy direction to that brought onto the august house by the ruling party and specialists are aligned to their specialty trade as a way to give constructive alternatives.
Jumbe is a farmer and entrepreneur in agribusiness and being such he was betterplaced serving in the agriculture entity than put him in the defence committee of parliament which will be a totally new field to him.
In his response, Jumbe indicated that he has no problems serving the party at any capacity as long as it serves the leadership right but his main objective when joining politics was to serve the majority of Malawians who are farmers.
Jumbe said, “A farmer is a resilient person, I cannot fight my own party so I accept the move although I am just hearing it from you the media as I have not received any communication from my party whip. I wanted to be the farmers Member of Parliament when I started my journey into politics but if the party thinks I can now serve better in defense I say defense it is. As a new field I will be learning the dynamics of that trade and will surely master a few thing at the end of my tenure.”