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Alto el fuego


Malawi Congress Party (MCP) seems to be blissful on the jolly ride of failure. Every time the party appears to be on the path to reclaim its lost glory, something just pops up to put the party in mayhem.
Last year, MCP made some statement that put the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on back peddling when it won five of the six contested for seats in the parliamentary and local government by-elections. Since Gwanda Chakuamba ceased to be a force to reckon with in the Southern Region, the MCP had been a forgotten political entity in the Southern Region. The MCP confined itself to the Central Region where it is most assured of votes.
The MCP has mastered the art of losing elections since 1994. So far, the MCP has lost a record five general elections and there is no party on the land that can match that unenviable record. The MCP must, if at all is a party worth the honour it claims, be very ashamed and seek redress to rewrite its sad history of failure.
Before 2014, the only time MCP gave a good shot at the presidency was in 1999 when Gwanda Chakuamba gave Bakili Muluzi a good run for his money. In 2009, the MCP was just a mess and, instead of competing in the elections, the party chose to participate and came out battered and bruised with Bingu getting a resounding majority even in MCP strongholds.
In 2014, when, to the shock of everyone, the MCP chose to field the then unheralded Lazarus Chakwera, it somehow turned out to be a game changer that shook the political foundations. In the 2014 polls, Chakwera and Mutharika came neck-to-neck in a ferociously contested poll in recorded time.
Chakwera, who was only known as a parson, surprised many that time. Since then, the MCP has grown a spring and it is obviously the only party that is giving the DPP some cold and torrid nights. Right now, every honest DPP or political analyst worth the name will easily concede that the MCP is the only stumbling block between DPP and its march to glory come 2019.
But the MCP is a very confused house and looks to be out of sorts. Right now, the party has developed huge clefts that will need a heavenly-sent advocate to fill up.
When it was all over that the MCP was finally back and ready to give DPP a good chase, the party has decided to put its house asunder by the infighting that has been hugely publicized. What is clear in the MCP infighting is that the party is stuck in the philosophy that the old guard have the final say on party issues and that only those who have exuded deep green in their hue have exclusive rights to decide who joins and who cannot.
When Sidik Mia decided that he is joining the MCP, the message was clear that he would not go for anything less that the vice presidency which, as per tradition, would translate to running in 2019. Mia’s joining was a hammer-blow to Richard Msowoya who knew that his days as the party’s most powerful man after Chakwera were numbered.
Now, knowing that the writing is on the wall, Msowoya and his disgruntled lieutenants have decided to put MCP on the back foot with their parallel structures. By the end of the day, it is the DPP that is celebrating the madness that has firmly established itself in the MCP.
But this is the time for Chakwera to show how erect his mojo is to make firm decisions that, as captain of the ship, will make sure the party takes a soft and safer dock.
Truth be told, the people that are causing confusion in the MCP are expendables. Msowoya failed to bring any meaningful contribution to the MCP just like his lieutenants. If I were an advisor to the MCP, and when it is a fact that Malawi’s politics does not look at what someone has in the head, Mia is a better option than all the rabble-rousers in the MCP.
What, of course, I find disturbing is that Mia—a person with questionable credentials for the big job of being second in command in this country— has all the guts to tell us that he is ready to partner Chakwera, a possible president come 2019.
But all said, I think we are moving towards a mad season of our time. MCP, trust me, will in May 2019 realise that selfishness and uppity and inanity of their members have pushed them to six straight defeats at the polls. It is when the DPP will be celebrating victory in 2019 that some MCP members will know the meaning of the Spanish term alto el fuego.

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