The man many accused of being divisive is turning out to be a uniting factor in death, as bitter political rivals are now able to sit next to each other without displaying any sense of discomfort.
What started as a show of national unity at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe on Saturday, when the former president Bingu wa Mutharikaâ€™s body was repatriated home from South Africa, continued to the lowest levels of political structures on Monday with bitter rivals, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials sharing and mixing with the Peopleâ€™s Party (PP), a situation unimaginable just weeks ago.
DPP regional youth director (Centre) Lameck Rajabu Malimba said the spirit shown by President Joyce Banda, who heads PP after being expelled from DPP in December 2010, had given hope to Malawians that they all have a future despite their political differences.
“As DPP in Central Region, we mourn our president, but we are comforted by the dignity and honour our mother, President Joyce Banda has shown to our departed leader. We pray she will look after all of us,” said Malimba.
Malimba, a vocal leader of the DPP Youth Cadets nicknamed â€˜Ayishoshe Ayiwoneâ€™, said the partyâ€™s youths were equally shocked by the greed shown by some Cabinet ministers who have already jumped ship to PP before Mutharikaâ€™s body is laid to rest.
Inside Parliament Building, DPP secretary general Elias Wakuda Kamanga sat next to PP secretary general Dr Henry Chibwana whereas some DPP vocal officials such as national governing council member Alice Lungu and national campaign director Ken Zikhale Ngâ€™oma sat next to PPâ€™s Clement Stambuli.
PP is an offshoot of several parties, including DPP, United Democratic Front (UDF) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP).