Former director of National Intelligence Services Bintony Kutsaira has ditched the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and joined the People’s Party (PP) of President Joyce Banda.
President Banda has since appointed Kutsaira deputy Minister of Agriculture to replace Ulemu Chilapondwa.
Chilapondwa was on Sunday elevated to the portfolio of Minister of Transport and Public Works, replacing Muhammad Sidik Mia who resigned from government on Saturday.
MCP has described Kutsaira’s departure as “not worrisome”.
Kutsaira served in various portfolios during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) era, including serving as the party’s secretary general.
He quit DPP and rejoined MCP in July 2013. He left MCP after he failed to secure the constituents’ votes in the party’s primary elections.
President Banda welcomed Kutsaira into the PP fold at Masintha ground on Sunday.
He was welcomed with other supporters who defected from MCP and DPP.
But MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said: “As a party, we are grateful that we are separating chuff from the grain. For MCP, this is not a worrisome development. We have not welcomed him since his return.”
During the rally, President Banda, without specifically referring to the departure of Sidik Mia, the party’s former vice-president, stated that there can only be one presidential running-mate and those that have failed to secure the seat were free to leave.
“There can’t be six running-mates. There can only be one at a time,” she said.
Reports are rife that Mia quit PP after being frustrated for failing to secure the running-mate position.
He denies the allegations, but has not explained why he has dumped the party.