In 2017, the nation has learnt that opposition political parties such as Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) are not infallible.
The year is coming to an end leaving a battered MCP picking itself off the ground and dusting itself up as it consolidates the factions which nearly brought it to ruin.
The coming back into the fold of the errant Secretary general gustav Kaliwo and the spokesperson Jessie Kabwila is perhaps what MCP needed as it gears up for a national convention in the coming year.
PP, on the other hand, is a party nearing its end, similar to what happened with the United Democratic Front (UDF) whose leadership is non-existent outside of a few poorly attended political rallies in the Eastern Region.
It is safe to say that MCP has seen it all and there is not much strife that they could face between now and May 2019 that could destroy it, save for perhaps the fight for running mate with the coming in of Sidik Mia.
As the 2019 elections comes closer and closer, the same cannot be said for the DPP.
In their attempts to bring enmity between President Peter Mutharika and his deputy Saulos Chilima, those greedy politicians who survive politically on gossip were too shortsighted, they could not see the forest for the trees.
DPP is a party waiting to disintegrate and signs of its breaking are becoming imminent by the day.
You see, everything leading to the convention has not been about the running mate and resulting vice-presidency as those whispering in APM’s ears have made it all out to be.
The jostling for positions in the party has been there all along but the focus of Malawians who follow politics has been on the exciting events in the MCP and what was viewed as the breaking up of the four cornerstones that were touted as its ideologies.
At the DPP convention, all positions save for the presidency will be up for grabs and that is the event that will make or break the party.
In the drive to become a national party with equal representation in the north, centre and east, the DPP constitution left certain senior positions to these regions, these being the secretary general, first vice presidency and second vice-presidency.
What the DPP did not forsee is what has started to happen in the north, where one aspirant for a position currently held by the Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has publicly stated that her counterpart is spreading lies about her.
It is somehow gratifying that the winds shaking the DPP boat are coming from the north and the fight between Jappie Mhango and Grace Chiumia for the second vice-presidency of the party.
While Mhango criss-crosses the country opening inconsequential bridges in a move to maintain his visibility, Chiumia does not have a similar standing since she was ejected out of the Ministry of Home Affairs after her many blunders.
But as Minister of Civic Education, she has not used the podium to her benefit but to her detriment since she cannot differentiate between her DPP ambitions and her role as Cabinet minister.
DPP will head east in 2019, fearing that MCP using Mia’s religion might have a similar strategy.
The DPP must be warned in advance that former president Bakili Muluzi is a shrewd strategist and he will not handover 10 MPs and the whole Eastern Region on a silver platter.
Muluzi will want something and this is the one position that those with ambition to become president one day will not want to give up: running mate.
In all this, the outcome of DPP infighting will either be catastrophic or cathartic. 2018 is the year that will make or break the party and it remains to be seen if it will come out of it united or further divided.
It is quiet on the Eastern front, the Southern part has seen it all but wait, the nation ain’t seen nothing yet.
Where the DPP succeeded in swallowing UDF, attempts to destabilise little known Aford seem to have failed but there is every chance of success with PP, who by the look of things see no future in 2019.