Hon. Folks, I have said many times that the 2020 Fresh Presidential Election and President Lazarus Chakwera’s subsequent resounding victory was a killer punch for ex-president Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM).
Nineteen months after their disgraceful loss in the poll, APM and some National Governing Council (NGC) members of his former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seem to have totally lost direction and they are all excited to steer the party into a political coffin.
Today, the beleaguered party is still embroiled in bloody conflicts over political factions that emerged within the NGC and are harming the party’s rebuilding efforts ahead of the 2025 general elections.
And just this week, Malawians witnessed another dose of DPP internal squabbles when APM issued a statement warning DPP vice-president for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa against using the party’s founder Bingu wa Mutharika’s face or portrait as he canvasses for support to be elected as the next party leader in 2023.
Nankhumwa is accused of creating parallel structures in the party and it is clear that the APM camp is not amused with his continued membership, but unfortunately there is nothing they can do to eliminate him legally until the 2023 DPP convention is held.
But hours after Mutharika’s released his statement, some DPP MPs openly defied their 81-year-old leader warning and came up with more campaign posters bearing Bingu’s image on the background in sheer open defiance and an apparent deflation of APM’s authority.
Nankhumwa then issued a direct response to APM, telling his leader that he (APM) was a ‘nobody’ in DPP or is it in politics around 2005 when Bingu and others founded the party.
Nankhumwa and his loyalists seem to suggest that Bingu still deserves a lot of respect and credit for the many things that he did while leading the party and this country.
Honorable folks, I do not support any of the factions in DPP but I concur with the likes of Nankhumwa on using the late Bingu’s pictures for political purposes.
APM cannot stop any DPP member from displaying their love for his elder brother, who arguably also ruled this country far much better than him, simply by using a family cue as an excuse.
Just like him, Bingu was a public figure, a former head of State and the founder of DPP and the use of his late brother’s face by his political rivals should not be an issue at all. APM and DPP have bigger problems to sort out now.
I am also not surprised with this low stoop by the former ruling party because in the nine years of APM’s stewardship DPP members have mastered the art of fistfights and name-calling which has divided the party further.
With APM out of power now, DPP seriously lacks a master who can unify it into one formidable force that should not only oppose the Tonse administration but also compete with the hope of forming the next government.
DPP problems might soon get out of hand and only Mutharika holds the keys for his late brother’s party’s fate. His hesitation to call for an early convention only compounds these problems.
Hon. Folks, one day I will talk about ‘malingering’, or the art of faking all sorts of poor health once the criminal prosecutors come knocking on someone’s door.
The term malingering in widely used in the west and it is commonly used to describe falsification or gross exaggeration of physical or psychological problems to avoid military duty, obtain financial compensation or to evade criminal prosecution.
This malingering is not a new phenomenon in Malawi. It has been there since time immemorial and it appears it works magic for some politicians and people with names in society.
Next time we will talk about the infamous criminal malingering in relation to the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s continued crackdown on suspected criminality acts. I have a feeling this year we will have more sick politicians in our hospitals