Since 1994, the nation has seen secretary generals of political parties, from loudmouths such as Joyce Banda to cool, calm and collected individuals like Henry Chimunthu Banda.
In recent years, Malawians can agree that they have not seen the likes of Democratic Progressive Party secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey, a politician of note but not much of a chief executive for a political party that is running an administration.
Going by the statements which she made at a rally in Karonga, it would be in DPP’s interest to organise itself and put a stop to some of the remarks uttered in public.
DPP would do well to organise a meeting of its leaders who take the podium so that they speak with one voice. The party desperately needs strategic direction.
If a stranger were to land at the airport and made to listen to rallies conducted by DPP then United Transformation Movement (UTM), the visitor would be inclined to think four month old UTM is the ruling party with a rich political history.
Much as UTM has experienced politicians with a trail of membership of political parties behind them, one would not believe it to hear them or see their conduct.
That kind of strategic direction is sorely lacking in the DPP and the many years of experience of its membership, a party famed for having in its ranks a whole Field Marshall.
To show how clueless DPP is, Jeffrey used a rally in the Northern Region to make allegations that Vice-President Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) attempted to take over government in 2015 when President Peter Mutharika disappeared in the United States of America.
The people of Karonga learnt that SKC allegedly assembled a cabinet in readiness for APM’s demise. How such information will bring health services to the people of Kaporo, only the DPP CEO knows.
That a whole secretary general cannot discern the irrelevance of such a statement should leave those who trust and vote for DPP truly dejected.
She can be forgiven to a point for her remarks, after all she was in the peripherals of the DPP at the time. Those who were there and took part in the decisions to hide from the nation, and the Vice-President, that their president was sick must have cowered in mortification.
A party with such history and experience should not embarrass itself to accuse a four month old UTM of stealing its manifesto, especially not when Malawians have not heard the contents of the DPP blueprint.
It is not the fault of UTM that DPP uses the podium to threaten violence on its detractors and non-supporters instead of articulating issues in a manner that is convincing.
It is certainly not UTM’s fault that those listening to APM speak at a rally only pick out threats of dropping like a tonne of bricks on civil society and DPP potential voters.
When the people of Nkhotakota, where Jeffrey grew up and plays a representative role, want to hear plans to upgrade the dilapidated M5 or how they will benefit from the Greenbelt Initiative passing through their backyard, a whole president tells them his brother Bingu wa Mutharika regretted marrying Callista and selecting Joyce Banda for a runningmate.
It would not be surprising if she advised APM to launch a personal attack on Callista Mutharika. That script was straight out of Jeffrey’s notebook: uncouth and nonsensical. A statement not befitting a head of State who should be the last person to burn bridges with a sister in law.
A secretary general should be the last to stand on a political podium making wild allegations that a widow, who rightly mourned her husband, killed him.
It is only a confused and flustered political party that fails to articulate its vision for a country in desperate need of salvation and prosperity and the blame for failure to provide such strategic direction to DPP must be heaped on the lap of the secretary general, Grezelder Jeffrey.