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Monday, July 15, 2024

Livingstonia Synod takes on MCP NEC for resolutions to bar new members

The Church and Society Programme of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia has faulted Malawi Congress Party (MCP) National Executive Committee (NEC) for its resolution to bar new members from vying for positions.

The synod, which has also queried the tenure of the current NEC of the MCP, a key partner in the governing multiple-party Tonse Alliance, argued that the decision revealed a troubling trend on intra-party democracy in the country and a suppression of fair competition.

Briefing journalists in Mzuzu on Saturday, Church and Society executive director McBowman Mulagha said the decision was a threat to democracy.

He said: “Specific policies such as barring members from contesting in elections if they have not held any party position or have been members for less than two years raises serious concerns about democratic inclusivity.

“Such measures stifle the infusion of new ideas and leadership talents crucial for the dynamic governance of the parties. Democracy thrives on principles of equal opportunity and the right of individuals to seek elective positions, regardless of their tenure within the party.”

Mulagha: It raises serious concerns Mulagha dismissed assertions that the synod was representing some concerned MCP members, saying Church and Society only reports to CCAP Livingstonia Synod moderator and general secretary. He said their position was that of the synod.

CCAP Synod of Livingstonia Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme executive director Reverend Edward Kamthunzi, who was present during the briefing, delved into the tenure of the current MCP NEC which made the decision to bar others.

He said: “The expiration of mandates within party leadership committees must be addressed to maintain the legal standing and legitimacy of their decisions, ensuring that all actions are in line with internal democratic processes.

“The principles of fairness and transparency should be paramount in all party activities, especially those related to internal elections and leadership contests. Political parties should ensure that all members have the right to contest in elections, removing barriers that hinder participation and competition.”

But in an interview yesterday, MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said the NEC resolution was not motivated by malice or exclusion.

He said the resolution is meant to ensure that individuals vying for NEC positions possess a profound understanding of the party’s principles and objectives.

Said Mkaka: “Article 35 (2) of the MCP constitution empowers the NEC to establish rules and regulations for conducting elections. The resolution has, therefore. been made to ensure that the MCP DNA [Deoxyribonucleic acid] is maintained and that there is no mutation of the genetic makeup of the party.

“People who join the party and are well-meaning will understand and appreciate this posturing. Therefore, people should take solace in the fact that the MCP is a democratic party, and the provision for revising rules underscores its democratic ethos.”

In an earlier interview, private practice lawyer Gladwell Majekete said the current NEC cannot make conclusive decisions because its term of office expired.

He said: “If positions are filled at an elective conference or convention, and the five years has lapsed, reasonably, these people can hold over so that there is no vacuum. However, they are limited on making decisions which should have been made at a convention.”

MCP is set to hold its elective convention from August 10 to 12 this year ahead of the September 16 2025 general elections. The party’s NEC already endorsed President Lazarus Chakwera as its torchbearer during the polls.- (Story Credit: Nation Online)

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