Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislator Jessie Kabwila has lashed out at her fellow MCP Members of Parliament (MPs) for questioning her loyalty after she was pictured with Ben Phiri in South Africa.
The viral picture shows Kabwila and President Peter Mutharika’s former personal assistant Phiri chatting at OR Tambo Airport in South Africa.
Kabwila went to South Africa on official assignment as chairperson of SADC Women Parliament Caucus.
The photo led to suspicions within the MCP over Kabwila’s loyalty as some legislators accused her of working with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). They also branded her Judas Iscariot and a crook.
According to WhatsApp group messages Kabwila presented at a press briefing on Friday, MCP MP for Kasungu Central Amon Nkhata said Kabwila is a sell-out who is causing divisions in the MCP.
“Kabwila ukudzatani kuno ku Jo’burg (Kabwila what are you doing here in Johannesburg)? What business is there between you and Ben Phiri of DPP? Kabwila you are MP for MCP and Ben is for DPP, what mission do you have towards MCP squabbles?,” reads part of the text which Nkhata posted on the forum captioning the picture in question.
But speaking on the issue on Friday, Kabwila insisted that she went to South Africa on official duty and claimed that she is at liberty to greet Phiri whenever they meet.
“I am loyal to this country; everything I do is for the benefit of Malawians. I went there to push for an agenda that is good for all Malawians which was not even political in nature. And besides, Ben Phiri is a Malawian and nothing can stop me from greeting him everywhere I can meet him,” she said.
Kabwila also claimed that senior members of the MCP are using false stories to weaken her.
She said the MCP is spreading similar rumours in her Salima North-West constituency so that she should be finished politically.
“I am really saddened with the kind of treatment that I have been receiving from the MCP membership which is clearly aimed at weakening my political survival among my constituents.
“The lies being propagated by own family is now reaching the people who put me here and the people I serve,” she said.