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DPP supporters clash over party’s 2014 torch bearer

Divisions are emerging in the DPP over the party’s 2014 presidential candidate with some loyalists supporting George Chaponda and not the interim leader Peter Mutharika.

The development comes as the party is rebuilding its image ahead of the proposed convention and 2014 general elections.

In a letter dated July 29, 2012 addressed to the Party’s Secretary General Elias Wakuda Kamanga, some anonymous party members calling themselves concerned DPP supporters describe Peter Mutharika as a weak candidate to lead the party during the 2014 polls.

The group cites Mutharika’s failure to resolve the Chancellor College academic freedom saga when he was the education minister, facilitating change of the independence flag, section 46 of the penal code and the marriage age of 16 when he was Justice Minister.

They also accuse Mutharika of failing to reverse the government-donor conflict when he was the foreign affairs minister.

They fear that these failures would be used by his opponents to damage the party from succeeding in the elections.

The authors of the letter say they cannot come out in the open at the moment, due to lack of tolerance to dissenting views in the party.

Chaponda is said to be the competent person to lead the party describing him as a sober character with very impeccable record as a cabinet minister.

Speaking to the media, Kamanga acknowledged receipt of the letter but said he cannot comment without knowing identities of the authors.

Kamanga claimed that the DPP engages with its members when such issues emerge.

Chaponda also refused to comment on the matter referring the matter to the party’s secretary general.

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