Cracks have emerged in the political grouping, Citizen for Transformation (CFT), following revelations that Commander In-chief Timothy Mtambo will campaign for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Parliamentary candidate Leonard Mwalwanda for the forthcoming by-election.
About 20 CFT members have announced their decision to drum up support for UTM Party aspiring candidate Frank Mwenifumbo in the forthcoming by-election in Karonga Central Constituency on November 10.
Speaking to the media on Saturday at Usisya ground in the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu, where UTM Party’s Kayitano Simwaka, Winnie Nyondo and Mirriam Gwalidi conducted a political campaign rally, the groups chairperson Henry Nyambose said as a political grouping that was formed to dislodge the immediate past ruthless DPP government, they feel abandoned as their leader Mtambo has never visited.
Nyambose further said the decision by their Commander In-chief to drum up support for Mwalwanda has also provoked them, saying the CFT stood by Mwenifumbo throughout the campaign in the run up to the Fresh Presidential Polls such that it is a taboo to support the MCP candidate.
He said: We feel dejected and betrayed by Mtambo has never visited us since the Fresh Presidential Elections. Worse still, since his appointment as a cabinet minister, we have not heard from him up until yesterday (Friday) when we learnt that he has come to Karonga to rally behind Mwalwanda.
That has propelled us to switch our allegiance from CFT to UTM Party so that we drum up support for Mwenifumbo whom we fought the battle together to dislodge DPP.
However, in a separate interview, CFT Karonga chapter chairperson Sahara wapa Sahara Mwanyasi and CFT communications director Negracious
Justin provided conflicting responses.
Mwanyasi described the breakaway group as just few greedy individuals who are expressing their democratic freedom of association, adding the grouping is intact”.
While Justin said that is just mere political propaganda aimed at discrediting CFT leadership and its agenda as those paraded at UTM meetings as CFT members have never belonged to the group
However, a Mzuzu based political commentator George Phiri has faulted Mtambo for his decision to endorse a candidate taking into consideration that he is a Cabinet Minister responsible for Civic Education and National Unity and he could have used his position to civic educate people in the volatile constituency to calm down the current political tension and unite voters.
Said Phiri: Since CFT is not fielding any candidate in the race, it could be wise for him not to side with either of the candidates and instead could have focused on how to bring peace and unity in the constituency by using his ministry to carry out massive civic education campaigns.
Phiri added that the future of CFT as a political movement, lies in the hands of Mtambo on how he will handle the situation to amend fences with those disgruntled break away members otherwise that is detrimental since Karonga is also his home, his stronghold.