The interpretation of whether there was or there was not democracy at the Peoples Party Convention can vary from yes to no and many tinges in between. I am concerned though that while we all have a right as to hold opinions, the more I find the justifications for those opinions somewhat troubling.
There are those people who believe that democracy triumphed because later comes such as Sidik Mia, CassimChilumpha and HophmallyMakande won seats compared to Brown Mpinganjira, Clement Stambuli and Paul Maulidi. Just for one second think if I had the money and the desire to contest. I could have gone to the Secretariat of the Party, pay my registration fees, get the forms and go to the tailors to have my orange cloth made and stand as a candidate (assume I stood as presidential candidate). Suppose then I won and now I am President of the Peoplesâ€™ Party. What do I stand for? Would that have been fair? Would that have been democracy? Are you sure anyone, everyone, without knowledge of what they believed in just came and presented themselves as candidates then this was democracy? Is this not the same as allowing every Jim and Jack, regardless of age, nationality or mental capabilities to vote in the 2014 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections? There sure has got to be some screening for goodness sake!
The PP Convention had losers and winners. For most of us, Paul Maulidi and Brown Mpinganjira were the big time losers. I would however want to propose one more name: KhumboKachali. I do not know who proposed and how the proposal came about to have three vice presidents one each for the regions. Whoever did that pretty much wanted to water down the office of the vice president of the part. Khumbo may be the sole vice president of the country but he is not the sole vice president of the party. This fact could cause problems next time when President Joyce Banda is selecting a running mate. She has three people from whom to choose.
Regarding the KhumboKachali issue, one can take the interpretation that KhumboKachali did not lose entirely. And I can agree with that. It is possible that people thought if Kachali were to compete against Mia, Chilumpha and the rest of the candidates, he would have lost big time. To save him face, he was allowed to compete on regional grounds. This then allowed him to feel like vice president of the party when he is only vice president of the PP in the North, just as Mia is VP for the south and Chilumpha VP for the center. Ladies and gentlemen, we do not as yet have a VP for the PP for the whole country. And this fact is likely to haunt the party at the appropriate time.
As the fuel prices go up and as the cost of the US dollars goes up, I had an unusual experience when I went to the Forex Bureau with a few dollars to exchange with Malawi Kwacha. They told me: we do not have Malawi Kwachas!Â