Spare a thought for the governing party. Mighty DPP knows, by now, it is in big trouble. Things are not going by plan. The economic plan, either by its leadership’s incompetence or due to other factors beyond its control, is going east. The charm offensive to woo back donors has also not paid off.
In the week gone, we learnt just how desperate the folks at Capital Hill are to the extent that Treasury czar Goodall Gondwe, somehow, approved spending a whopping K120 million of our hard-earned money to hire some lobbyists to buttress the country’s sordid image abroad just for a few months.
Now, now, now! The suspicious secretive nature of this deal, alone, is another cause for concern. It bears all hallmarks of abuse of office and bad governance.
Look, folks, after Cashgate, it must be a heinous crime for government to be running some monkey business in the dark that cost us millions of tax money, without any accountability. Good ole Goodall, better come out clean and clearly on this deal. It hardly conforms to sanity.
Yet, when you think ahead and contemplate 2019, one really feels for the mighty DPP. Look, the party had a brilliant manifesto in 2014 and, sadly, for the DPP today, it can hardly point at any of its electoral promises being reality. The party that swept to a landslide victory in 2009 for tangible development work; infrastructure such as roads and complex projects (some funded by our own government for a change), food security, economic growth, cleaning our cities of petty thieves masquerading as vendors; today is struggling to list any deliverables.
DPP today is struggling for authenticity on almost every issue. Not that the DPP has no blueprint for success, but because there is no longer the same level of application. Either corrupted by power or lacking in leadership, the party of ‘dreamers’ has only inherited what was bad about the old DPP—executive arrogance and nepotism.
No wonder the other day, the Big Kahuna (to borrow the late Ralph Tenthani’s colourful language), was struggling on television to convince us that all will be well. Two and a half years after assuming office, there is little to inspire confidence and President Peter Mutharika’s reassurances alone are acts of vanity. This narrative could have been much different had the DPP failed to construct five universities as pledged by its manifesto, but, at least, lived up to its pledge to be strong on fighting corruption, cutting on extravagance, ushering genuine reforms in the way the civil service is run plus other legislative reforms.
On the contrary, we see corruption being entrenched, Mutharika clinging to powers his own manifesto pledged will be devolved and the politicisation of the civil service, hindering any meaningful reforms.
But in 2019, DPP strategists face an unenviable task of selling another manifesto and candidate that will promise change. Maybe Malawians, as legendary in docility and stoicism as they are, will be gullible to buy it. If Malawians rise and reject any scapegoats on why the DPP failed to deliver the reformist agenda pledged in 2014, the DPP will have no one to blame but the corruption that has blinded it.