Hon. Folks, they say a change of leadership in a political party or a country is a desirable characteristic of any democratic system.
But today, without sugar-coating anything―I can state without any fear of contradiction that the court-sanctioned 2020 Fresh Presidential Election was a hug blow below the belt of the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the consequences remain injurious to the party’s rebuilding efforts until this minute .
Since the vote over 16 months ago, bloody rivalries are still emerging within the party’s national governing council, leaving scores of supporters of the once mighty party more confused and without any hope for the future.
This year alone members of the party’s national governing council (NGC), who are mandated by the DPP constitution to oversee board policies and ensure good governance practices inside (and maybe outside) the party have subjected DPP supporters and followers to numerous rounds of embarrassments.
These include fist fights in front of journalists, bad mouthing and name calling (in some instances cursing fellow members using obscene language) which has partly contributed to preventable losses of key positions in Parliament by the blue camp.
Just last week, social media was awash with screenshots depicting a heated confrontation allegedly involving one mischievous DPP member belonging to party leader Peter Mutharika’s faction and another who is assumed to be politically devoted to a rival camp led by Kondwani Nakhumwa who is DPP vice-president for the south and Leader of Opposition in Parliament.
Honourable folks, these two characters clashed after the latter fairly quizzed why ‘Mr mischievous’ ejected ex-Justice minister Samuel Tembenu from a DPP NGC WhatsApp group after he spoke bluntly against internal succession woes that have almost laid DPP in a political coffin. This was after DPP lost miserably in the October 26 by-elections.
Among others, Tembenu―who is ironically Mutharika’s lawyer in a constitutional reference where DPP is seeking nullification of the June 23 poll on illegality grounds―denounced his former party for “burying its head in the sand and hoping foolishly that its problems will go away just like that.
He then asked DPP leaders (I hope this includes Mutharika too) to confront the problems and resolve them in the party.
This is what irked ‘Mr mischievous’ and he instantly removed Tembenu from the group, prompting a few brave party members to question where he got his authority from. Sadly ‘Mr mischievous’ even went ahead to use a Four-Word profanity term in an act of open defiance when asked to say who gave him that authority.
On the question of where some party members derive their authority from, your guess is as good as mine. No wonder one faction believes it is more equal than others forgetting that Atcheya recently said DPP can never win elections again if it remains divided.
Its miserable performance in recent elections points to one thing and that is DPP is in tatters and it has fast lost its steam (chipanichi chikutha ngati makatani) and all this can be boldly attributed to Mutharika himself.
Honourable folks, DPP has no leader currently and the party lacks a master who can unify it into one formidable force that should not only participate in the next general election, but compete with the hope of forming the next government.
Unfortunately, as I said the other day, Mutharika is busy snoring on DPP problems at his lakeshore side mansion and it is now more evident than before that the old man may not wake up any time soon to start rejuvenating his late brother’s party.
I will say again… the problem with doing literally nothing about certain things going wrong is that they soon get out of hand and you become very ashamed to be associated with those things. Surely this is what Mutharika and his DPP henchmen are facing now that they cannot demonstrate political maturity and leadership to reform the party.
But when all things are said and done, it is only Mutharika who holds the key to DPP’s fate. Hesitating to eject him from his skeletons will only lead his ship to sinking completely.
The best APM, as Mutharika is fondly called, can do now is to quit as party leader and call for an urgent convention to choose his successor.
Otherwise as it stands now, Mutharika, 81 and his party are wasting everyone’s time by failing to smell the coffee and soon DPP could become another briefcase party due to leadership complacency.