In July, Mzimba Hora legislator, the Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira, returned to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after being banished from People’s Party. Our Mzuzu Bureau supervisor JOSEPH MWALE caught up with the legislator to explain his vacillations on political see-saw.
You dumped DPP shortly after the death of Bingu Wa Mutharika in April 2012, joined PP and now you are back to DPP. Why the back and forth?
When I joined politics a few years ago, my first party was DPP until such a time when I left the party for PP. I had my reasons for moving out of DPP, which I cannot explain now. This time, I have gone back to DPP because I have seen what has happened to PP, the party I joined to support. You have seen what has happened with PP. I led a revolution, telling people what we should have done to make that party stronger again, but I was accused of not wishing the party well and they kicked me out. But you know that I did very well when I was PP provincial governor in the Northern Region. It is in the Central, Southern and Eastern regions that they did not vote for PP. In the North, we stood with PP president Dr Joyce Banda and gave her lots of support. When she went out to a place I do not know, I stood my ground that we should make the party strong, but I was opposed by the very same people who have now also left the party. So, I am not a political prostitute. I have just gone back to my old party, the original party where my politics started.
During your rallies, you constantly tell people that you would campaign heavily if given some position in DPP. What really do you want in DPP, to be governor?
No, you cannot appoint yourself a governor. To be a governor, one needs to be a hard worker, someone who thinks because the going is not easy. So, I cannot say yes or no. There are several positions in the party. Whatever position I will be given, I will take it.
Why do you want a position in the ruling party?
Why I want a position is because when you are not given any position, you will be just a backbencher and hand-clapper. That is what I don’t want. I want a position so that I can serve the party well, to the best of my knowledge and ability. It is not just because I want to be a leader. There are several positions in the party and they can choose which one they want me to occupy and support the party and the President [Peter Mutharika].
You seem to have strong negative views towards Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Have you been shaken by the opposition party’s landslide win in by-recent elections?
You should understand, especially if you come from the North, that we have been supporting our friends. Not only DPP today, but we have been supporting MCP, but MCP does not support us. I hear MCP saying they will get many votes from the North, but never. This will only happen over my dead body! I will go everywhere in the region to remind people of the atrocities that MCP committed during its time in power [1963-1994]. If I will be one of the DPP leaders in the North, I will stand firm and remind voters of what these people [in MCP] have been doing to us.
Are you not ashamed that the MCP you are talking so much against won five of the six areas in the by-election recently?
Even if DPP was not in government, I would still go back to join it. I know DPP. I started my politics there. I know the people. I know the leadership. This is one reason I didn’t want to leave PP until they thought of booting me out of the party because they thought I was dividing it. All I wanted was to have the party strengthened so that we win the 2019 elections. MCP is celebrating because of the few seats they have won during the by-elections. We must not be taken up by this small victory. You remember that we have been supporting these people and each time we support them, they do not come back to thank us. You remember what we did in 1999. We gave them all the support in the Northern Region. In the South, nearly all MPs from Chikwawa and Nsanje were for MCP. The MCP-Aford coalition had over 90 MPs. But did the party win the presidency? No! So, they should not celebrate the win in the by-election. They should know that this is just a wake-up call for DPP, a reminder that if someone was lazy in DPP, it is time to wake up, stand firmly and win the bigger prize in 2019. We have seen where we have gone wrong, but now we will come up with a strategy to win in 2019.