Cracks re-emerge in CFT with fresh calls for Mtambo to resign as commander in-chief


Dust is refusing to settle in the new political movement, the Citizen for Transformation (CFT), as breakaway grouping is agitating for Commander In-chief Timothy Mtambo’s resignation for rallying behind the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Leonard Mwalwanda in the Karonga Central elections.

The fresh calls come hot on the heels of accusations and counter accusations against the CFT Karonga district chairperson Abraham Mwanyasi and his district secretary for allegedly aligning themselves with the MCP and without consulting the group’s membership.

Nyambose flanked by CFT members-Photo by Jordan Simeon-Phiri(1)

Speaking at a presser on Wednesday at Safari Lodge, the group’s vice chairperson Henry Nyambose accused Mtambo of betraying CFT’s objectives and ideologies upon which it was established, saying it was meant to be apolitical to provide checks and balances to government’s administration to make Malawi a better place to live in.

He said: “The composition of CFT is made up of members from various political parties that are in the Tonse Alliance. The main goal was to fight against the immediate past regime, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and we achieved that goal. Now, after elections, the Tonse Alliance government gave our CFT leader a ministerial post which to us was okay up until recently when he came to tell us to go to Karonga Central to canvass votes for MCP’s candidate.

“That came as a surprise because after elections, he did not come to tell us how we will be conducting business only to resurface with the idea of campaigning for Mwalwanda. We, therefore, ask him either to resign as the CFT’s commander in-chief and concentrate on serving MCP or remain our apolitical CFT leader because he has failed us”.

Nyambose further alleged that efforts to call Mtambo to come and address their concerns have always hit a snag, saying he never answers their phone calls, adding: “This time he only calls and takes calls from Mwanyasi”,

However, Mwanyasi was not available for comment as his mobile phone was out of reach.

Nyambose has since urged Mtambo to use his ministerial position to preach peace and co-existence in Karonga Central Constituency amid rising political tension during campaign.

However, in an interview, CFT Karonga District chairperson Mwanyasi described the accusations as baseless, saying they are coming from disgruntled members who are bent to bring confusion.

“You may recall that few weeks ago they announced their decision to leave CFT and days later they rescinded their decisions. A week later they are calling for the immediate resignation for the CIC, that totally means that they are just greedy people,” he said.

In another interview, CFT director of communication CFT communications director Negracious Justin described the breakaway group’s accusations and demands as crazy, saying if they no longer subscribe to the CFT’s ideologies they are free to move on and join any political establishment of their choice.

“Two weeks ago that grouping denounced their membership and joined the UTM team. A week later they came back and apologised, we accepted their apology and we moved on. This time around they should just move on otherwise calls for the CFT leader to resign are crazy,” Justin said.

However, in an earlier interview, a Mzuzu based political commentator George Phiri 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 against violence and use of hate speech during campaign”.”