On Tuesday, when disaffected residents of Rumphi marched on government to demand better treatment of, and for, patients at the district’s hospital, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was there in all its might to provide-freely and unwittingly-lessons in folly.
DPP’s regional governor for the North, Kenneth Sanga was there, as well as Charles Mhango, Rumphi Central Constituency aspirant and representative of Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango, and some party operatives who had no business being there, other than malicious intent.
For a party of its stature, it tears at the heart to learn that it has no plan about anything and it is such a rudderless, reactionary entity that blows with winds, even if they lead it to doom.
DPP was caught snoozing on the job when residents of Rumphi, as all citizens of Malawi should have done, rose up to demand answers and assistance from government. The litany of challenges they could enumerate applied equally to almost each and every public hospital in Malawi: Dead cold rooms, no food for patients, erratic and inadequate transportation for hospitals, lack of medicines.
Among DPP’s members who have been sleepwalking since May 2014, Jappie Mhango and Charles Mhango were some of the first to stir up. Still half-asleep and yet to wake to reality, the two Mhangos hastily put together some foodstuffs and sheepishly delivered them to Rumphi District Hospital.
Now the problem with
hijacking other people’s ideas-another running theme about the DPP, which has not hidden nor makes any pretences that it lacks originality-is that sometimes you miss the larger picture in your haste to be seen as the mastermind of a concept.
The concerns of the people of Rumphi were wider in scope than just provision of food. Even the problems with food are by no means new or recent. They go a long way back, but they became pronounced in July when Jappie Mhango was still minister and MP and Charles Mhango was also very much around. But they did nothing. The hospital stopped providing food to patients on October 13. Until Tuesday, the two mischievous Mhangos did nothing at all.
Only when civil society organisations took up the narrative did the two Mhangos spring into action and made themselves look as saviours of a wretched situation. Who do they think they are fooling?
DPP has bitten off more than it can chew because the next questions than arise are: Do the problems of Rumphi start and end at K800 000 worth of maize and beans? What about other district which are faced with the same financial quandary but have no Father Christmas to bail them out? Does DPP have a sustainable plan about how Rumphi District Hospital and others can be self-sufficient?
Unless their pockets are very deep, those 100 bags of maize and beans are a drop in the ocean. Such political posturing is the very reason Malawi cannot develop, as people are looking at narrow political interests instead of embracing the wider picture.
And for Charles Mhango to suggest that their demonstration and that of the CSOs’ was a mere coincidence speaks to the contempt with which some people in the DPP hold the intellect of the people. In case Mr Mhango does not know, coincidence is a game of chance, not a plan. What the two Mhangos did was a diabolical plan to thwart the success of the CSOs demonstrations. Something similar happened in Lilongwe last month. It is a measure of how DPP lacks in originality of thought that in less than two months it has hijacked two demonstrations-using almost the same modus operandi. Does DPP have any intention or capability to learn a lesson from its past follies?
Aren’t these the same shenanigans that made the party lose flavour with the masses prior to 2012?
Muvi woyang’anira uwu suchedwa kulowa m’maso. n