Malawi Fires Vice-President

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said in a statement following a meeting chaired by Mutharika that the two were “advancing programmes contrary to the party’s agenda.”Party officials “unanimously resolved to remove Joyce Banda from her position as first vice-president of the DPP,” it said, adding that Khumbo Kachali, second vice president, was also expelled with immediate effect.

“They will lose all the privileges which they had by virtue of being members of the DPP which includes using party colours, symbols and slogans,” it added.

Banda, the country’s first woman vice-president, said in a statement seen by AFP that she would continue to serve the country in her constitutional role as vice-president of the republic of Malawi in line with the law.Bintony Kutsaira, the DPP’s secretary general, said the decision was made after “carefully listening to the evidence received on (Mutharika and Kachali’s) numerous anti-party activities with a thorough analysis.”He said the two failed to defend themselves before the council. Relations have soured between Mutharika and Banda over succession plans. The president’s brother Peter has been jockeying to succeed him in 2014 when his second five-year term expires.Banda, a popular grassroots campaigner, was picked by Mutharika as his running mate in the 2009 presidential race.