At a time when the pride of the farmer is suffering at receiving maize donations and the threat of a malaria attack could signal death due to lack of medicines, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has the audacity to assume that voters will want the kind of leadership mediocrity until 2084.
At same time when the Supreme Court has implied that the election in 2014 was stolen, one can only imagine how the DPP plans to win the next successive elections.
The DPP forgets that before May 2014, there was a political party popular with the donor community, popular with those it was feasting with at the table and no amount of disclosures that in its adminstration some unscrupulous people helped themselves to K13 billion of taxpayers’ money could deter the large crowds that thronged its rallies.
The Malawian voter is very fickle, the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and United Democratic Front (UDF) can attest to that.
This is why it is surprising that in her ventures as secretary general for DPP, Greselder Jeffrey can dare to assume that Malawians want the party in power until ‘donkeys grow horns’ as she had put it on Wednesday.
Credit should go to the party’s secretary general for admitting that there are challenges in its administration of this nation. That these challenges would not threaten the party’s stronghold on power remains to be seen.
There are several scenarios in which the DPP administration could go on until 2084 and all these are a matter of history repeating itself.
Firstly, the DPP did not win the 2004 election, the UDF candidate Bingu wa Mutharika did, with 33 percent of the vote. In a normal democracy, Bingu did not win because 67 percent of the electorate did not vote for him to be their president.
Come 2009 after finally securing the mandate with 66 percent of the vote, nature as cruel as it can be, intervened in 2012. Coupled with the internal succession wrangles and power hunger that infested the party, the DPP lost the administration to Joyce Banda, the rejected stone who dared assume that she would become Bingu’s successor at the 2014 polls.
Now, trusting that nature does not do the unpredictable but the incumbent whose popular litany has it will contest in 2019 but decides not to, the DPP risks experiencing 2012 all over again.
This is so because as it stands now, the Vice-President Saulos Chilima is out of race as the DPP torchbearer, in 2019 and possibly even 2024. For now, embattled former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda is also out of the picture. All indications are there that the succession wrangles that befell the UDF prior to the 2004 election and the DPP when Bingu’s retirement was imminent will hit the DPP hard.
To think that Malawians will continue to vote for the DPP is like the party implying that they will abolish democracy. But then again, if the DPP are to continue on the nepotistic and regionalistic path that they have become known for, then yes, they will win until the next millennia.
It is an insult to the people to talk about winning until 2084 this being 2017, a year in which youth are crying for employment, malaria medicines are not in the hospitals at the peak of the rainy season, ambulances that actually function are not where the people need them most and most importantly they have no money in their pockets.
As the founder of DPP would put it, let the work of your hands speak for you and so far your hands have done a terrible job of it.
Political parties as we have learnt with the multiparty system come and go and it is not always at the ballot that this happens. It would be dangerous for the DPP to forget this. Enough of the arrogance and assumptions that the party knows what the people will want, in 2019 or 2084 for that matter. Before making assumptions about what the people want, try asking them.