There was tension in Mangochi on Sunday (17th December 2023) when the DPP Members of Parliament (MPs) that Mutharika summoned refused to grant him his wishes against Nankhumwa.
Shire Times understands that the incumbent DPP president, Peter Mutharika, called for a meeting with the party’s MPs under a disguised agenda of discussing for the party’s imminent political conference which has been scheduled to take place on 26 and 27 December.
While discussions around preparations for the elective conference were had, the underhand agenda became known when Mutharika suggested to the MPs to dethrone Kondwani Nankhumwa from Leader of Opposition seat in parliament.
However, Mutharika was shocked as a large number of the MPs disagreed with the plot arguing that a similar move in the past did not bring desired result as court overruled the action.
The Democratic Progressive Party is the largest opposition Party in Parliament and by virtue of that status it has the right to elect a Leader of Opposition in Parliament in accordance with Standing Order 35(1) of the Parliament of Malawi Standing Orders.
In the election that occurred among the DPP MPs in the first sitting since the formation of the new Government in 2020, Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa emerged the winner after beating other contestants, being Hon. Katsaila and Hon. Msaka. He was thus duly elected as Leader of Opposition in the exercise ofour constitutionalright to vote him into an elective office and was recognized by the Speaker as such in accordance with the Standing Order 35(1).
On 26th June, 2026, the Parliament and the country at large woke up shocked to learn through a Press Release issued by the DPP Administrative Secretary Mr. Francis Mphepo announcing that the party held a meeting and resolved to remove Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition, replacing him with Hon. George Chaponda.
About 23 DPP MPs protested this move and took the matter to Court the ruling of which was pronounced by Judge Kenyatta trashing the removal of Nankhumwa from being Leader and installation of Chaponda in his place.
The Court described the unceremonious removal of the leader of the opposition as procedural and void. That is how Nankhumwa maintained his clout as Leader of Opposition in Parliament thriving as such under the DPP ticket.
However, the unrepentant Mutharika tried to scheme another shot intending to cripple Nankumwa of his clout ahead of the convention where he has declared that he will contest for the party presidency.
Mutharika, whom sources have confided in Shire Times that he wished Kabambe to be candidate to be elected at the convention, has indicated that he will seek re-election as leader for the party. Sources have indicated to Shire Times that Kabambe’s membership to the party has not clocked three years thereby not qualifying to contest for the position of the party president according to the party’s constitution.
The status quo was leaving Nankhumwa as the only powerful candidate who has a royal backing of more than 23 Members of Parliament within the party. This scenario is also reportedly threatening Mutharika’s chances of being elected at the convention over Nankhumwa.
Not so surprising, therefore, that Mutharika orchestrated for a final attempt to remove Nankhumwa from his position of power and render him weak ahead of the convention. Unfortunately, with the MPs telling Mutharika in the face that they can’t remove Nankhumwa, Mutharika’s fears of losing at the DPP convention have heightened.