Friday Jumbe, leader of a UDF faction, has complained that they were not given a chance to fund the party’s October 30 convention.

But the party’s secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala has dismissed Jumbe’s assertions, arguing they invited well-wishers to fund the convention.

Jumbe in an interview on Tuesday said the Makwangwala camp has not approached them to discuss the convention issue, arguing they are attempting to drag them to a convention whose financier remains suspicious.

Said Jumbe:We have the financial muscle to fund the convention, but nobody has ever approached us. Former national chairperson of the party Dr Bakili Muluzi gave me the responsibility to run the party in 2009 without any penny, but I managed it.

How come now some people think that we have no finances to fund the convention? We could have afforded if we were asked. Let me put it on record that our intention is not to stop the convention. All we demanded was to level the playing field.

He said a party could not have a convention organised by one camp and funded by the same camp and expect to have results accepted by both camps.

Makwangwala said the party is collecting funding of the convention from well-wishers and everyone was at liberty to make a contribution. He said that was the reason the party publicised a bank account in the newspapers.

Meanwhile, UDF chief whip in Parliament Dr Clement Chiwaya has appealed for a smooth and peaceful convention. He condemned members that want to throw spanners in it, arguing everyone is free to fund the convention.

Chiwaya, who is currently in Michigan, United States, on holiday, said it is no secret that talks between the two camps have always failed to yield positive results; hence, he sees the convention as an opportunity to unite the party and prepare for the 2014 general elections.

Said Chiwaya:I would like, therefore, to condemn those that have threatened to stop the convention that Malawians and history will not judge them kindly because Malawians are looking forward to have real competition in 2014.

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