DPP Supporters Call For The Return Of ‘Field Marshal’ Ben Phiri Into His Active Politics Role
Following an election defeat in Mchinji West constituency and two wards coupled with not-so-convincing wins in two other wards in the just ended by-elections, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) diehards are calling for the return of the party’s master planner Ben Phiri to the core of the party’s strategy team.
Our publications understands that Phiri was not involved in the recent by-elections campaign p due to personal commitments but his absence has been noticed in the wake of the dismal performance.
Phiri, former presidential aide and President Peter Mutharika’s trusted blue eyed boy resigned from his position at State House to focus on building his business empire.
He is currently the Executive Chairman of Beata Holdings.
Some senior party colloborated that Phiri was asked by party hierachy to deputize vice president Saulosi Chilima as chairman of the campaign team for the by elections but he turned down the offer citing personal commitments.
“There are many reasons to attribute to the party’s dismal performance but major contributing factor is that Ben Phiri refused to take part in the entire process. We offered him deputy chairmanship of the campaign he refused.
Since leaving State House in 2015 he has been very distant from party affairs. Mind you this is the guy who was the hub of DPP’s 2014 campaign strategy that saw us defeating Joyce Banda and her peoples party,” confided a senior party official.
DPP regional governor for south, Charles Mchacha and secretary general Ecklen Kudontoni both confirmed that Phiri is “a key strategist” for the party and they would want him to take active role.
The ruling party failed to maintain its Lilongwe Kaliyeka Ward which has been lost to opposition MCP.and further lost in Mchinji West Constituency and Bembeke Ward in Dedza to the same MCP in the by-elections.
Prior to the 2014 polls, Ben Phiri, as he is popularly known, was appointed by Professor Mutharika as DPP’s Field Marshal, a role he used to consolidate and mobilize votes across the country through management of resources and strategy.
With his tact on the ground DPP managed to unseat Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party and returned to government after a two-year sojourn in opposition.