Just too much fodder for this columnist to write about this week. A lot is happening on the political scene, thanks mostly, to the five judges of the Constitutional Court.
Where do one even start from? Perhaps, Saulos Chilima’s interviews and recent rally at Masintha ground where the once captivating politician on the local scene suddenly turned flat.
The reinstated as Vice-President, courting both the ruling party and main opposition MCP, was subdued at best but no longer the inspirational podium master he was in the previous campaign. He couldn’t attack Mutharika nor Chakwera and that was telling.
In the interviews, you didn’t have to be Blessings Chinsinga or any holder of PhD in political science to realise that Chilima was flirting with both DPP and MCP.
But for a guy who became popular by rebelling against an unpopular party, certainly it must be akin to drinking from a poisoned chalice, to flirt with the idea of rejoining a party he has railed against as corrupt for the past two years.
Yet, in all the interviews he has held, it‘s telling he has stopped railing against DPP’s corruption, nepotism or lack of vision.
Or I could have perhaps discussed government finally changing its heart—knowing that it will need the Northern Region vote—on the quota system of selecting students to universities. But unless we see evidence on the ground, everything this government says on quota system—or anything—must always be treated with suspicion.
Indeed, on another day, I could’ve been laughing at the folly of DPP supporters taking to the streets to denounce the five judges of the Constitutional Court.
When the Lilongwe demonstration ended, instead of going home, the DPP supporters marched to State House for reportedly their ‘pay’ where Mutharika showed up and attacked the judges for stealing the party’s victory.
On another day, we could’ve taken the learned professor to town for this extraordinary attack on the Judiciary which he continues not only to permit, but also lead.
But these are extraordinary times and these are extraordinary circumstances.
Yet, we must be frank, there is nothing extraordinary but just a mark of desperation instead, for Mutharika to once again jump into bed with UDF. UDF once again demonstrated that it is a sellout that remains a personal estate that cares little about national good.
As one writer quipped, it hasn’t been lost on Malawians that the Mutharikas and Muluzis, by coming together, simply want to prolong their control of levers of power.
We can add as well, the good part is that Malawians can read through their actions and make sound judgment whether this stranglehold for power has been good for them or not. The thing is, though, the people of Machinga North East already had their say on what they make of UDF when they booted out Atupele Muluzi from Parliament. Not many can be fooled all the time by these elites anymore.
The only person who appears immune to all this appears to be Lazarus Chakwera. Amid all the calls for an alliance with UTM, Chakwera, whether for the worst or the better, has remained unmoved in his cocoon, just dropping hints of possible alliance without making any moves that suggest he is actively seeking one.
Well, this is Chakwera’s last shot at the presidency. He gets this wrong, himself, his family, party and all that wish the man and party well, would be doomed to lifetime of regret.
It’s telling that Chakwera’s quietness has come when it’s clear that there is a civil war looming or underway in the country’s oldest political establishment on who should partner Chakwera on the next ballot paper.
That Chakwera would be a leader of any opposition alliance is not in dispute. That Chakwera needs Chilima is also not in dispute. But, somehow, a pro Vice president Sidik Mia faction of the party is hearing none of the MCP-UTM alliance talk.
Chakwera’s leadership skills are now under demand more than ever before. How he manages this tricky question is what will define his destiny and that of his party. But here is the bad news for Dr Laz, or whatever moniker you may have for him, unbeknown to him and cohorts, he doesn’t have the luxury of time on his side. DPP, knowing its flaws, has moved fast to bring to folder UDF. MCP is still playing the waiting game. And when they lose again, they will find neither sympathy on the streets nor in the courts, because many would shout like the old Greek goddess Kasandra—a prophet whose advice was never heard—we warned you Dr Laz, we warned you!