Aford splits after Convention

Alliance for Democracy Aford has split into two factions following the controversial Convention held at Mary Mount Secondary School over the weekend that elected Ministry of Youth Development and Sports Member of Parliament for Rumphi Central Enock Chihana as chairman.
The controversy mainly arouse from an oversight on details on a working partnership between the party and three other political parties National Rainbow Coalition (Narc), National Patriotic Front (NPF) and People’s Development Movement (PDM).
Party officials called off the Convention just when Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) officials were about to administer the ballot, but later they went on and elected Chihana chairman.
Committee chair Christopher Lichi confirmed that there was no prior working agreement between Aford and the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc), National Patriotic Front (NPF) and People’s Development Movement (PDM).
The borne of contention was Narc president Loveness Gondwe’s announcement that she would contest as president and not secretary general.
Chihana questioned whether another party president was allowed to contest for Aford presidency.
“Procedures have to be followed. When it’s an alliance, it is different from a merger. In a merger, you dissolve a party. When you dissolve a party, you make sure that even all your structures at the grassroots have to merge with structures at the grassroots of the party you are joining.
“From there you are picked as delegates to a convention. This could have been done six months ago, four months ago, three months ago. After that, they could have come here as delegates of Aford. You have seen that here are delegates of Narc and delegates of Aford wanting to conduct one convention, which is impossible; that cannot happen,” Chihana said.
During elections, the 577-strong convention delegates elected Enock Chihana as Aford President with 516 votes, Johns Makuya-Treasurer General (314), Khumbo Mwaungulu-Publicity Secretary (334), First Vice President Martha Chimia, Second Vice President Tanilani Chipeta (382) and Christopher Rich as Secretary General.
Gulani Michael Guta replaced Chihana as party chairman. Conspicuously missing during the voting were Khwauli Msiska, Godfery Shaba, Dan Msowoya and Loveness Gondwe.
However, a statement issued by Dan Msowoya has asked Chihana and his team to step down from their positions.
The statement says it does not recognize Chihana as the elected leader and blamed the minister for the fracas.
“The incident was a direct result of the agitation by Mr. Enoch Chihana, Member of Parliament for Rumphi central and Minister for Sports and Youth development against the spirited participation of three politicalparties namely the New Rainbow Coalition (NRAC), National Patriotic Front (NPF), People’s Development Movement (PDM) which willfully fraternized with AFORD as bosom allies. This integration is by no means an antithesis with interparty relationships and politics. It is based on mutual trust and cooperation aimed at consolidating for unity of purpose as opposed to disintegration and disunity. What Mr. Chihana and his cronies did is despicable, dishonourable, abominable and gross misconduct under section 6.4(2) of AFORD’s constitution.
“We condemn it unequivocally and in the strongest terms possible. It was uncalled for, given that Mr. Chihana or his representative had ample time to draw the attention of AFORD to the issues he purported to highlight in the Convention. His own self alienation from the various meetings that mooted this noble idea denied him participation and prior knowledge of the basis and detail of this noble undertaking. He has himself to blame. It must be stressed here and now that the brutish insurgence he incited, which disrupted Convention proceedings does not commensurate with the position he holds in the party let alone in government, unless of course he is a square peg in a round hole. The leadership at Aford assures all of an amicable but firm resolution of the matter in accordance with the constitution (section 6.4(2) as read with s6.6 (1). The National Executive Council (NEC) shall move to consider further action(s) regarding the conduct of Mr. Chihana, as the way forward,” reads the statement in part.
“Mr. Chihana’s conduct and insinuating remarks have for the most part been made in the course of cynical attacks on fellow party officials, on the sidewalks, at public meetings and among our fraternal colleagues. We believe this has been evident result of our insistence on more commitment, selflessness and competence from all our officials, due to persistent incompetence and dereliction of some officials in the discharge of their duties. This happens to be an incident among several others indiscretions. The officials and cadres so behaving are motivated by bigotry and a feeling of self sufficiency. Such misconduct however, on the part of such officials will not and must not sway us from our resolution to point out fearlessly, impartially and without regard for their personal feelings and self centered objections to our opinions and decisions in cases when the party’s constitution, facts and circumstances are against their selfish interests.”
The Msowoya faction has since threatened court action to stop the Convention results.

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