Senior officials of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are claiming that People’s Party (PP) have been pressurizing them to join government.

However, PP has dismissed the claim, saying the officials are ditching DPP at their own volition. DPP’s Vice President Jean Kalilani told reporters in Lilongwe yesterday that she could only accept to join the party if the arrangement was made through her party.

The revelations were made at a press briefing which the DPP organised to react to the recent defection of the party’s secretary general Wakuda Kamanga and the alleged retirement from politics by the party’s first vice president Goodall Gondwe.

“I was approached during the time of the funeral of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika. But we don’t work like that. They needed to approach my party. If they want technocrats who are in DPP to assist them, they should come officially to the DPP so that we should talk party to party,” Kalilani said.

DPP Treasurer General, George Chaponda, also said he told officials from PP who approached him to go through the party. He said the idea could only work in a government of national unity (GNU) plan.

“We do not mind that some of our colleagues have gone to the other side because they have their own freedoms. We were aware that some of these people would be joining them, but this does not mean that it will weaken our DPP. The DPP will continue to be strong,” Chaponda said.

Present at the press conference were the party’s Director of Logistics Simon Vuwa Kaunda, Director of Women Patricia Kaliati, Publicity Secretary Nicholas Dausi, Northern Region Governor Reverend Christopher Ngwira and Central Region Deputy Governor Wictor Sajeni.

Reacting to the claims, PP’s Secretary General Henry Chibwana described DPP statements as propaganda.

“The fact that they poached in their own time does not mean that people joining PP are being poached. They are joining PP at their own volition. No coercion. They are joining PP because the leadership is solid.

“It’s not a question of poaching. Such claims are nonsense. Those officials are just perpetrating lies. Why should we? We even have no wish to approach them. That is 100 percent propaganda,” Chibwana said.

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