No matter what happens after May 20, UDF’s Atupele Muluzi should pat himself on the back for forcing other presidential candidates to take a hard look at the youth and take them on board as running mates.
It does not need rocket science to figure out the fact that PP’s Joyce Banda and DPP’s Peter Mutharika chose youthful Sosten Gwengwe and Saulos Chilima respectively, as partners on their tickets to blunt Atupele’s appeal to the youth.
Not only that. Today, the catch phrase transformational leadership has gone into our political lexicon and it is on the mouth of Lazarus Chakwera, Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika all the time.
And this is all thanks to Atupele who started preaching about transformational leadership, coined Agenda for Change, quite some time ago, something that this nation desperately needs after staying independent for 50 years yet some of our people can hardly afford basic necessities of life.
But lest we forget, the greatest loser in all this hectic scramble for the youth vote is Khumbo Hastings Kachali who happens to have been the incumbent State Vice-President for the last two years.
That President Joyce Banda has sidelined him in preference to Trade Minister Sosten Gwengwe is no longer news.
The issue now should be: Why is he still hanging with the President and being forced to cartoon around her during State functions when everybody can see that the tension between them is so thick that you can cut it with a knife?
By not picking him, Khumbo has been told in no uncertain terms that he does not matter in PP; hence, his being shown where the exit door is. He is better off opening that door and avoiding any further debilitating embarrassment that surely awaits him if he sticks around.
As he himself said it the other day, it is, of course, a vote of no confidence by the President. If he needed any presidential assessment of his performance for the past two years then it could have not come better than this.
And to be honest, Khumbo made some mistakes. It will take some time before people around Mponela Health Centre in Dowa forgive him for uprooting beds for patients there and plant them in his home district of Mzimba just to campaign for PP during a by-election.
Insulting Malawians that he does not visit their mothers’ homes when they queried the constant abuse of their taxes through incessant official travel, was not a wise thing to do.
It reflected badly on Kachali as an arrogant individual, drunk, spiteful and intoxicated with power that he has as a beneficiary of death.
But the President too has made mistakes for the past two years and she has not paid for them with a curtailment of her political career at party level which is something that has effectively happened to Kachali.
The President has presided over the greatest theft of public money, otherwise known as the cashgate scandal and not many Malawians would approve of her handling of the crisis which seemed to tilt towards placating donors instead of local taxpayers here at home.
Her constant world travel in line with her new found international celebrity status, as one of the then only two female presidents in Africa, at a time she was preaching frugality for Malawians to sort out the economic mess left by the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration, was one colossal miscalculation that lost support even where she had plenty of it.
Youth or no youth vote, there was no need to rock the boat and leave the error-prone Kachali out.
But she has and it is now water under the bridge. For Kachali, though, he must figure what is there left for him in PP. Is he prepared to go low as an MP and bow down to Gwengwe in an event of a PP win after May 20? What will be his status in the party?
There is nothing for Kachali in PP and he better reconsider his game plan now than later.