People’s Party Members of Parliament (MPs) want assurances that party leader Joyce Banda will not be arrested as one of the conditions for an alliance with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Mutharika met PP legislators on Sunday including government critic Kamlepo Kalua of Rumphi East and Banda’s son Roy Kachale of Zomba Malosa to discuss a possible alliance between the DPP and PP in Parliament.
But the PP MPs sought assurances from Mutharika that their president Banda who is in exile will not be arrested when she comes to Malawi.
“They [the PP team] also wanted that if she [JB] comes back, she should not be arrested,” one MP told the local media.
According to reports, PP also want two of its MPs to be appointed cabinet ministers in Mutharika’s government.
On its part, the DPP said it will not have candidates in constituencies where PP has strong candidates during the 2019 polls.
People’s Party secretary general Ibrahim Matola said the party is not involved in the discussions since he was barred from entering Kamuzu Palace when he went to attend the meeting.
“When I went there, I was turned back at the gate. The party is being left out and whatever negotiations are happening are for themselves [the legislators].”
MPs who attended the Kamuzu Palace meeting include party spokesperson Noah Chimpeni (Nkhata Bay South East), Maquenda Chunga (Mzimba South), Ralph Jooma (Mangochi Monkey Bay), Beatrice Mwale (Kasungu North), Malani Mtonga (Karonga South), Kalua, Wallace Chawawa (Zomba Chingale), Patricia Kayinga Nangozo (Zomba Central), Welani Chilenga (Chitipa North) and JB’s son, Kachale.
However, Harry Mkandawire (Mzimba West), Rachel Mazombwe Zulu (Mchinji North) and Elias Wakuda Kamanga (Kasungu North East) were not invited as they are suspected of working with opposition Malawi Congress Party.