Tonse Alliance key partner UTM party has roped in five new faces to fill vacancies in its national governing council to replace the members who resigned.
UTM Party spokesperson Felix Njawala said in an interview yesterday the new appointees are national deputy director of elections Loveness Gondwe, national director of youth Penjani Kalua, national director of operations Khwesi Msusa, national deputy director of operations Sam Chirwa and acting administrative secretary Augustine Mtendere.
He said: “Three positions were vacant and we have created a committee of operations; hence, the appointment of the director and deputy director of operations.
“This is a process of making sure that all the positions are filled and the operations of the party are running smoothly.”
Njawala said the party, which is led by the country’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima, will soon announce the date for a convention in readiness for the 2025 elections. But he was quick to point out that while they wait for the convention, the central committee has a mandate to fill the vacant positions.
Recently, the UTM Party has experienced episodes of resignations with the most significant one being that of former publicity secretary Frank Mwenifumbo in November last year.
In an interview yesterday, political analyst Wonderful Mkhutche said the resignations tell a story of a party losing its steam and needs political intelligence and revival to hold it together.
He said: “The top most leadership has made matters worse. Supporters have barely heard from Dr. [Saulos] Chilima. The party was sold to Malawians in the name of Dr. Chilima. Therefore, when he sinks, the party sinks as well.
“Dr. Chilima has to decide his political future in the next few months. Presently, he is lost inside the [Tonse] Alliance and the strategic influence of MCP [Malawi Congress Party] as the governing party.”
Mkhutche also challenged Chilima to revamp UTM.
Mwenifumbo was the second UTM publicity secretary to resign after Joseph Chidanti Malunga, who also left the party in December 2020.
In 2021, comedian-cum-politician Bon Kalindo resigned from the position of national director of youth, accusing the Tonse Alliance government of corruption.