Tension has erupted in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Karonga following the firing of a party official in the district.
The development comes as Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) are making strong gains in Karonga with frustrated DPP members defecting to MCP or AFORD almost daily.
Malawi24 understands that the genesis of the tension happened when Wavisanga Silungwe, an influential DPP member, was unceremoniously removed as director of youth in the district for welcoming Vice President Saulos Chilima who was boycotted by party senior officials in the region.
DPP officials in the northern region are failing to give concrete reasons for the firing of Silungwe.
A letter Malawi24 has seen which carries signature of Silungwe dated 12 May 2017, reads: “Mr Mwakalenga ordered by Kenneth Sanga Regional governor of DPP in the north to remove me from the party was ordered through phone call without explaining the reasons for my removal neither was there any disciplinary hearing.”
Confirming the development in a telephone interview to Malawi24, DPP regional governor for the north Kenneth Sanga said the party has removed Silungwe from position of director of youth in Karonga however he failed to go into details on reasons Silungwe was fired.
“We have removed him (Wavisanga Silungwe) from the position but let me be clear to say we have not removed him from the party.”
When asked if DPP is still strong in Karonga following dismissal of the youth director and sudden defection of 150 DPP members to AFORD and others joining MCP, Sanga was confident that the party will not lose support
“We are still alive in Karonga we can’t lose in election because of Wavisanga Silungwe, who is Wavisanga Silungwe after all,” said Sanga.
When Malawi24 interviewed Silungwe to hear his side of the story, he declined saying he could not comment on the issue.
In April, people who were in DPP attire wanted to stone the convoy of Vice President Chilima and Deputy Minister of Defence who is also a Member of Parliament for Karonga North Vincent Palisha Ghambi when the two were visiting flood victims in Kaporo.
Inside sources say Silungwe managed to control the tense situation which in turn forced Chilima who is also Minister of Disaster Risk Management not to comfort and address the flood victims who had gathered at Kiwe Primary School.
In the process the Governess of Karonga North West constituency who is well known as Nyakapila had her party attire torn by angry DPP cadets who were after the vice president’s convoy.
The regional governor and regional committee also failed to attend the function of the vice president.