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MCP and DPP Tussle Over Funerals in Thyolo

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been accused of barring Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leadership in Thyolo to speak during funerals, on the basis it does not support and has no leadership representation in the district.

Speaking to Zodiak on Wednesday MCP's Thyolo district governor Ben Tambalawakuda Betha, said in most cases they are facing resistance from DPP to speak during funerals because they have no ward councilor and parliamentarian in the district.

Tambalawakuda Betha said DPP is failing to conceded that it is no longer in power and that the country's affairs are in the hands of Tonse leadership.

"When we want to execute our duties at the funeral, DPP leaders start barring us especially councilors, as you know here in Thyolo there is no Councilor or MP for MCP.

“For instance, when Group Village Headman Mpando died, myself and followers went there to console and Councilor for the area said we would not do anything because we are not ruling the district. He even humiliated us right there, by chanting "chala m'mwamba chala m'mwamba". We were really disappointed and I reported the matter to the DC," He said.

However, Felix Thomas Mahikiri, who is Thyolo district governor for DPP has insisted that there is no way they can give an opportunity of just speaking at the funeral of their members to the MCP's district leadership which does not support with anything.

"To say the truth, all Councilors and MPs under Thyolo district council are all DPP. So, for instance, when a person dies, our leaders provide transportation for the dead body from the mortuary and the bereaved family is aware of who has helped. So, its laughable for someone to be coming just to speak," Mahikiri said.

Meanwhile, Thyolo District Commissioner Douglas Moffat, who is also Chairperson for Multiparty Liaison Committee says they have resolved that as a cultural norm, at any funeral the major responsibility rests with chiefs while political parties should just be there to console the bereaved.

"Multiparty Liaison Committee agreed on rules on what should happen. So, the first rule was that any funeral, the major responsibility rests with chiefs in that area.

“And the political parties are just there to console the bereaved families and giving each other respect and guidance as to how they should conduct the funeral processions," Moffat said.

The latest incident happened last week at Goliati at one of the funerals.

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