The People’s Party (PP) claims it has received more than 80 applications from other parties’ MPs and functionaries willing to join the ruling party, but has rejected four DPP heavyweights.
But three of the four have dismissed the PP claims and one was not available for comment on Wednesday
PP’s publicity secretary Steven Mwenye on Wednesday said the rejected MPs include Goodall Gondwe for Mzimba North and former minister of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources; Symon Vuwa Kaunda for Nkhata Bay Central and former Youth Development and Sports minister; and Christopher Ngwira for Mzimba Hora and former deputy minister of Transport.
Mwenye also claimed among those rejected is presidential adviser on women affairs Margaret Chiponda, who is also DPP deputy director of women.
But Gondwe, who is also first vice-president of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Ngwira and Chiponda on Wednesday denied having made the applications or approached anyone to join PP. Vuwa Kaunda could not pick his phone when contacted.
Claimed Mwenye: “We had to reject those people because we felt that they showed no remorse in their utterances…”
He said so far PP has received more than 80 applications from MPs and several from ordinary members, but it is only the four that have been officially rejected.
Mwenye said the screening process of who should be admitted into PP will apply to whoever wishes to join the grouping regardless of where one is coming from.
In an interview, Gondwe laughed off the idea of his joining PP and said he has not approached anyone asking to be admitted into that party.
Said Gondwe: “That is not true. I have not gone anywhere in order to leave the DPP. I still remain the first VP of DPP.”
Ngwira called the PP claims as propaganda.
Said Ngwira: “I don’t have a copycat spirit. I am still DPP and I have not made any decision of going anywhere.”
Ngwira, however, said all he has done is to make consultations and indicated that he is free to work with the current administration under President Joyce Banda and her deputy Khumbo Kachali.
Ngwira could not say who he consulted, but insisted he did not make any formal application or approach to anyone to join the ruling party.
Chiponda, who is on record as having recently told the media that she is ready to work in the new government in her current role as presidential adviser on women affairs, on Wednesday said:
“No, I did not approach anyone to join the PP and no one has rejected me.”
Asked why she was in PP attire at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) when the President arrived from Liberia on Monday, Chiponda said: “As you are aware, I am in a government office. Was there anything wrong to be in PP attire while I am working in government?”
During the President’s arrival, several notable DPP functionaries wore PP colours.