Chakwera’s visible lack of leadership


Blues Orators, you might have guessed that this week our discourse will focus on Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the mother and oldest of all political parties in Malawi, which has lately been behaving like a spoiled brat and the least constitutional of all political parties in the land.
Before I get into the nitty-gritties let me draw a timeline of recent developments in MCP, as duly captured and honestly reported upon by the ever gallant media.
• December 1, 2017: MCP President Dr Lazarus Chakwera met the party’s five strong elected Politburo comprising the convention elected Deputy Presidents Richard Msowoya and McDonald Lombola, convention-elected Deputy Secretary General Chatonda Kaunda, Treasurer General Tony Kandiero and Secretary General Chris Daza’s replacement – Gustave Kaliwo.
• December 2, 2017: This high-level politburo meeting was followed by a presser, where Chakwera decreed a return to constitutionalism. A tongue-in-cheek communique, co-signed by Chakwera and Kaliwo, was issued.
• December 9, 2017: Chakwera conducted a unity rally in Mzuzu. With him were Msowoya, Kaliwo, Chatonda and even new catch Mia.
• December 10, 2017: Another rally up north. Politburo minus Kaliwo.
• December 29, 2017: Jessie Kabwila, apparently resuming her role as MCP Publicity Secretary, following the burying of the hatchet, held a press conference in Lilongwe to address, on MCP’s behalf, what she termed ‘some of the emerging issues of national concern’. This did not end well.
Rather this did not go down well with the functionary who had hijacked her office during the time she was in the wilderness.
This minor glitch was apparently caused by the fact that Chakwera had not communicated to his lieutenants what a return to constitutionality meant and implied.
This being easy to fix, the elected five met again to smooth things over.
A management meeting of the National Executive Committee meeting was duly agreed upon but with one contentious question: who would be invited?
With contact and dialogue temporarily re-adopted as MCP’s preferred means of conflict resolution; the agreement – in as far as Msowoya, Kaliwo, Kandiero and Chatonda are concerned – was that invitees to this management meeting would be original directors co-opted into the Nec as per the August 2013 convention resolution.
Up to this point, the whole unity idea assuming the prospect of being the best to transpire thing since the discovery of sliced bread.
You know what? It was too good to be true.
It turned out that one faction wanted some ‘strangers’ i.e. Nec members arbitrarily appointed thereto without recourse to the MCP supreme body, the convention, to join the fray.
The outcome was pandemonium, and the meeting was postponed pending Chakwera re-mapping the way forward with his newly reunited Politburo which was to reschedule the meeting and issue fresh invitations, co-signed – as should be by Chakwera and Kaliwo.
On January 13, 2018 the extended Nec met, following invitations signed only by Chakwera. Its agenda seemed to crystal clear: to end the unity and constitutionalism ‘nonsense’.
On January 14, 2018 social media became awash with amateurish propaganda alleging that Msowoya, Kaliwo and others had met to form a new party.
Come January 15, 2018 the spectre of the dreaded MCP Youth Wing rose again. They met at MCP headquarters and in the pre-1992 youth league style roundly castigated the party’s elected politburo. This was monitored by both ZBS and Times Tv.
Not to be outdone, on January 16 2018, MCP MPs met to complete the circus. Despite dissent from at least 18 parliamentarians, according to social media posts of some parliamentarians, the MPs demanded the immediate suspension of SG, a call to the Nec to ratify the firing of Chakwera’s elected politburo from the party, call for a convention by March 26.
The MPs (with the disagreement of 18) endorsed Sidik Mia as the party’s Deputy President (the prerogative of a party convention) and running mate (Chakwera’s privilege).
To round-off the theatre, the MPs ratified Chakwera to be the ONLY Presidential candidate at the party convention, something that even Vladimir Putin stopped doing in Russia.
At least Malawi’s own political engineer had Moses Dossi compete against the Economic engineer
From all this and subsequent developments, a few things are clear.
Firstly, that the current MCP, I can say without fear of contradiction, has all the weaknesses, dictatorial tendencies and with the worst undemocratic MPs and youths than the pre-referendum MCP without possessing any of the redeeming factors namely vision, efficiency and pragmatism of Dr Kamuzu Banda’s MCP.
Secondly, and following from the above, it follows that in its current disunited form and with its primitive practices, MCP cannot win the 2019 election because although its main rival the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is bad; MCP is failing to demonstrate that it is any different.
Blues’ Orators, before the vicious and foul-mouthed Chakwera MPs and youth leaguers call me a Nkholokolo or ‘otumidwa’– as this is the name they give anyone who tries to reason with their ‘Messiah’ – let us ask ourselves the following questions:
• if MCP can be this vicious to its own elected officials, almost all of them well respected professionals and eminent Malawians – who are just wishing the best for MCP, what will it do – if elected – to members of the opposition? To critical CSO? To Pac? And to us the media?
• If Chakwera can be this intransigent to abide by the 19- page party constitution written in plain English, will he follow and abide by the voluminous supreme law of the land?
• If Chakwera’s MPs and youth leaguers can spew such venom both on and off social media, threatening to deal with anybody with a dissenting view while an opposition party, will they not be more vicious and ruthless than the 2003 UDF’s Young Democrats?
• And, ladies and gentlemen, come to think of it: only Chakwera is right in all these squabbles and not his elected 1st deputy, not his 2nd deputy, neither is his duly appointed Counsel Kaliwo, nor the eminent diplomat and administrator Kandiero, elected Treasurer General at a convention? This is not to mention of Felix Jumbe, Joseph Njobvuyalema, Jessie Kabwila, Chatinkha Chidzanja Nkhoma, and the old district chairpersons who elected Chakwera president at the NRC indaba.
Blues’ Orators, whatever your answers are to the above and many other questions, we can’t afford to brush off the storm in MCP as mere machinations from the ruling DPP.
More so that we are currently paying for the complacency of electing a known non-performing cabinet minister into presidency

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