Hon Folks, after losing miserably in the October by-elections, DPP has gone on an offensive to isolate and weaken the victorious MCP by seeking to establish alliances with PP and UDF, which came third and fourth respectively in the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
Having both parties on its side would help turbo-charge APM for the 2019 presidential race, increasing his prospects for victory especially if the 50+1 system is used.
APM’s cronies in DPP justify these overtures with the hackneyed mantra that there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics. I think they are right because what’s permanent in DPP politics is hypocrisy.
The party has a warped, self-serving view of multiparty politics which puts at the centre its own interests, pushing to the periphery the interests of the Malawian nation it is meant to serve. Friends and patriots are those that toe its line and enemies are its critics, including those mandated by law to check excesses of those entrusted with political authority of the State.
It started with APM’s brother, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, way back in 2005. He conveniently ditched UDF, the party that ushered him into power, saying his zero-tolerance for corruption policy did not sit well with its reputation as a corrupt party.
The reason appeared good enough for many Malawians to join Bingu and his newly-formed DPP in hating UDF with a passion. Which patriotic, law-abiding citizen wants to associate with corruption?
Yet, at his death in 2012—barely while in his eighth year as President, earning a monthly tax-free salary of K1.5 million—Bingu was reported to have amassed assets valued at K61 billion! He declared assets worth K150 million only on assuming office in 2004. Who was fooling who?
Come 2014, APM wins the presidential election with a paltry 36.4 percent of the votes, thanks to the first-past-the-post system. His party, DPP, garners only 50 out of the declared 192 seats. To govern, APM seeks the support of the same “corrupt” UDF, offering its President, Atupele Muluzi, a ministerial post.
A discerning eye also sees that the marriage of convenience between DPP and UDF comes with another hidden price tag—the virtual halting of the K1.7 billion corruption case the DPP-led government has been pursuing for over a decade against UDF founding President, Bakuli Muluzi.
Government alleged that the former President, who was also Bingu’s political “enemy”, stashed into his pockets public funds that came as foreign aid. Now it appears government has put Muluzi’s value to the political survival of APM and DPP above the interest of justice.
After the October by-elections exposed the soft under-belly of the APM government to MCP’s punches, we hear APM and his cronies have gone knocking on PP’s door, a party the President hated with a passion.
APM claims Joyce Banda, the founding President of PP, orchestrated his arrest then plotted to kill him while he was in police custody. All this, APM claims, was done for sheer political expediency after JB ascended to power when Bingu died of cardiac arrest in April 2012.
Besides, APM also blames JB administration for Cashgate—the massive looting of public revenue that shocked the world when it came to light in 2013. The President hasn’t even once acknowledged the audit-proven fact that Cashgate was rampant as far back as 2009 when he assumed a ministerial post in his brother’s Cabinet!
In fear, JB has been a fugitive in far-away countries since 2014. As if that is not enough, not long ago the Police announced that there was a warrant of arrest for her and they would seek the help of Interpol to have her repatriated put on trial.
Though these are serious allegations indeed, the insatiable desire to extend APM’s tenure beyond 2019 by hook or crook may again thwart the interest of justice should PP accept to work with the party in government. If this is not blackmail, what is?