Events in the country’s main opposition party, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), are a true testimony of how money bags are eroding democratic values that parties ought to hold.
I lay all blame of the intra-party conflicts and factionalism now apparent in MCP to the coming of Sidik Mia. Mia is a big catch for MCP—both in terms of resources and the numbers he can bring—assuming he will have any meaningful impact in the Shire Valley and the whole Southern Segion.
Forget the lies Mia and others would have the nation believe that his joining of MCP is based on the need to dislodge DPP and hence bring in policies that will transform Malawi and Malawians. It’s a lie. First, and foremost, Mia has only his interest at heart—to hold a high position after he has gotten tired of ministerial positions.
His motives are what have led to the internal conflicts in the party that if left unchecked will be the very undoing of the party that many had hoped is an alternative to the DPP and its failed policies. While Mia’s coming has opened a can of worms in MCP, the party’s president Lazarus Chakwera is guilty of failing to properly handle the squabbles and unite the party.
Chakwera’s laissez faire approach to the issue, where he has failed to tame Mia—who has been openly and defiantly poking fun at the likes of Richard Msowoya, is what will make MCP an opposition party for life.
Speaking without fear of contradiction, it looks like in recent times MCP has been observed to be compromised by money bags—perhaps the first motivation for MCP’s roping in of Mia, a well-known businessperson who has been known to be “too generous”.
There are rumours that Chakwera and others have been silencing dissent from within. From the look of things, it seems Chakwera is now favouring Mia over Msowoya. Things wouldn’t have come to this if Chakwera, as a leader, handled the in-fighting well. Before showing his side, and before Mia—who is seen as a magic wand that will get MCP the numbers in the South and resources, started standing at the podium and declaring his ambitions, MCP should have sat Mia and Msowoya down, iron out all differences and reach a common ground and understanding. Now, the all the dirty linen is hanging, it’s difficult for anyone with eyes to unsee it.
Left unchecked, all the gains from the by-elections will mean nothing. Come 2019. it will be the same old story for MCP.
The fact that Chakwera has let the squabbles unresolved till today also speak volumes of his leadership and character. Maybe others are right that he isn’t just cut out for this.
He has time though to prove his critics wrong. Don’t let individuals who have been hopping from one party to another undo what you have gained so far. Fix your party or else, forget it.