In a clear sign that not all is well in the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, Jappie Mhango over the weekend came face to face with embarrassment at Chatonda Lodge in Mzuzu as several high ranking party officials from the region shunned the function officially unveiling him as the party’s northern region vice president.
Given the party’s recent infighting track record, especially concerning Mutharika’s candidacy, the absence of these officials has been widely interpreted as a strong disapproval of Mhango’s appointment. The anticipated grand and celebratory occasion turned out to be quite underwhelming.
Notable figures who refrained from attending the event included Ephraim Mganda Chiume, Ackim Mwanza, Charles Mhango, Vuwa Kaunda, Joyce Chikukula, Nick Masebo, and others. Some quarters are interpreting their absence as a vote of no confidence in Peter Mutharika’s aspirations to be the party’s presidential candidate in the 2025 elections.
Mhango, formerly the DPP Treasurer General, has been a close associate of Mutharika and a key campaigner for him. His appointment was seen as a last-ditch effort to secure Mutharika’s support in the northern region.
Mutharika appointed Mhango as the vice president for the northern region following the passing of Goodall Gondwe, who held the position until his death in September.