Former acting People’s Party (PP) president Uladi Mussa had a ‘change of heart’ in Parliament when he lavished praise on President Peter Mutharika’s government, which he has criticised for many years.
Ironically, Mussa is a persuasive politician who is nicknamed ‘Change Goal.’ He went into Parliament on the PP ticket in the 2014 general election, as member of Parliament (MP) for Salima South.
His sudden turnaround on Friday saw many fellow MPs teasing him as “sweet-talking himself into good books with the authorities for personal gain”.
Eyebrows were raised when Mussa praised the President for successfully completing the national registration exercise to afford Malawians a credible national identity card.
“I would like to say the truth, Madam Deputy Speaker, it is this administration which has started to successfully implement this national registration programme,” he said.
The statement attracted a round of applause from the government benches while some opposition lawmakers booed him.
Mussa further hailed Mutharika for lifting the maize export ban, saying this was a wise decision which would ensure that the country is food secure.
Wadya banzi iwe! Wadya za DPP iwe, khala pansi! (you have been bought by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party [DPP]) shouted some MPs from the opposition side.
Standing on a Point of Order, Nkhotakota Central MP Peter Mazizi accused Mussa of changing colours “because he wants to seek favours from the DPP”.
Mazizi also wondered why Mussa changed tune when at some point in the House he had said the same national ID programme was a ploy by the DPP to rig elections.
But in her ruling on the matter, First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje said Mazizi was out of order, noting that Mussa remains the same without any visible colour change.
A veteran politician, Mussa seemed unmoved when opposition members took turns to verbally assault him.
The attacks against Mussa come after he was recently fired from PP for alleged indiscipline. He is also in the group of PP parliamentarians who are said to be having talks with the DPP in the hope that the two parties could forge a working relationship in Parliament.
Other commentators suspect that Mussa could be gravitating towards suspected friendship with the government because it has taken him to court over his alleged abuse of office in issuing ‘fake’ passports when he was minister in charge of Immigration several years ago. n