I can be safe to say that I am no predictor of elections and neither can I claim to have prophetic powers to pick who will win the next general election in Malawi in 2019. One thing I know though, is that any political party going into battle with divisions within itself , will suffer nothing but a humiliating defeat. There is something about Unity or togetherness that goes together with winning as far as team performances are concerned.
It is a common saying in political sphere that there is no permanent enemy in politics , let alone permanent friends. However, it was exciting when news broke out that MCP president Dr Lazarus Chakwera has called for a press conference in Lilongwe on Saturday morning. To the surprise of many, the party leader was franked by some names who for the past year or so have been called by a majority of the party diehards as “enemies of the party”. Chakwera was franked by suspended secretary general Gustav Kaliwo, his deputy Chatonda James Kaunda. Treasurer general Tony Kandiero, and vice Presidents Lombola and Richard Msowoya.
Since the party had their last convention, MCP while enjoying political revival has been rocked by internal squabbles. Others would say two camps have emerged from the party, but reality could be , the issues have been more than a two camp struggle for power or lack of understanding each other. While we understand the heart of the matter was the inclusion of non elected members into the party’s national executive which was against the party’s constitution, the situation got so bad in that some big names were suspended from their positions, notably Kaliwo and the outspoken Jessie Kabwila.Things were starting to get out of hand , when speculation as to who will be Chakweras running mate in the next election, had People speculating that Vice President Msowoya is falling out with Chakwera, especially after Chakwera ropped in Lower Shire Giant Sidik Mia to join the party.
At the press conference MCP president called for the unity within the party and for it to now respect what was agreed at its last convention. To many this meant Chakwera accepting Gustav Kaliwo back in the ford and in effect recognized the role he was given at the convention as the party’s secretary general. Whether the so called rebels will all retain the positions they held is yet to be seen.
One thing that can not be ignored is the fact that in handling this issue Chakwera has showcased his mature approach to sorting out differences. An analysis of of what he has done since these issues started will reveal that he has been open and attempted several times to bring a common solution to the problems the party had. Chakwera even went on to promise the much requested Party convention which will be held next year and all party positions will be contested.
We can never underestimate the role that MCP Vice President Richard Msowoya has played . Again and Again he has proved doubters wrong with his calm style of politics. Many had speculated that Msowoya will rebel against the party just because rumours are strife that Sidik Mia might snatch the role in he Msowoya played in the last general election, that of Presidential running mate for the party. However, it is understood that he was pivotal in trying to bring the different sides together for the good of the party.
It can not be denied that the differences the party had was threatening to derail their much celebrated momentum which saw the party win big in the recent by elections.
MCP is at the best position they have ever been in years. The rebranding of the party under Chakwera is resonating with Malawians and it continues to attract new members. However underestimate DPP at your own peril. While DPP might be losing the popularity contest, especially with recent losses and the escalating electricity problems- the party still has some sharp strategists who can turn things round quick. With elections approaching, we should expect different political strategies including party alliances and the political prostitutes jumping ship from one party to the other.
They say politics is dynamic and the landscape can change at any time. That’s is why Chakwera approach to bring his party together will be a very big cause of concern for the ruling DPP. A very strong opposition at this time when the ruling party is struggling with many things will only mean bad news to DPP. Let’s wait and see if the united MCP will remain intact