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Father of snakes

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If you still doubt the greatness of the DPP, then you are just impossible to convince or you missed the party’s rally in Ndirande last Sunday.

You might have been told already that the greatness of a compound is proved by different shades of characters it has, and the DPP on Sunday just reminded us how great, albeit for the wrong reasons, it is when it decided to parade on stage the crop of people it has in its rank and file.

From over-powdered sneering speakers, craggy-faced noise makers, a blubbering lotto a refreshingly smooth talker the DPP surely has all types of characters in its cast. Sadly, those who make sense are outnumbered by those who speak and think later. And the party seems to celebrate having rascals for its poster boys or girls.

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What we are being told was a development rally dovetailed into another session of insults and bad-mouthing that left those who still have threads of sanity in their heads shocked, gutted and bored. Take, for example, Kaliati’s constant and unabashed attacks on MCP President Lazarus Chakwera. It seems the lady has been specifically assigned by the party to use her verbal diarrhoea to attack Chakwera at any given time.

Earlier, at a rally in Thyolo, Kaliati centred her entire sermon castigating Chakwera. I was very surprised that a week later, the same lady was given the podium again and all that came out of her mouth were derisive references to Chakwera.

What the DPP seems not to know is that it is exposing its soft underbelly by constantly and generously advertising Chakwera to voters. It is clear that the DPP is having sleepless nights with the MCP leader and would like to take every opportunity to dent his image.

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What I have noted is a pure case of difference in class and decorum. While Kaliati and co are busy cartooning themselves at party rallies, Chakwera hasn’t uttered a word in response, and I believe he will not because a man of his education, reputation, stature and class cannot stoop so low to the level of people who have a reverse version of decency.

The DPP apparently does not have advisors in its books. If it has any, then they are sleeping on the job and Peter Mutharika, if at all is serious about his name and job, needs to whip them hard before kicking them out for doing a bad job.

If Peter has a person he can trust among his blue lieutenants, then it must be vice president Saulos Chilima. While the rest expended their energy making statements that were—in keeping with Peter ’s favourite word of admonition— nonsense, the veep refused to coat his words in lumps of sugar.

His stunning allegory about the inanity of raising snakes for pets could not have come at a better time than when just be for e him, stood on the plinth speakers who spoiled what was meant to be a development rally with their careless utterances.

Truth is, apart from Chilima’s and Peter’s speeches, what was spoken at that rally in Ndirande was pure gibberish that had no line of development.

If you noted, Chilima did not receive much applause from supporters as well as those who sat at the stage who, I believe, are not used to hearing someone speaking with such decency at a political rally. But some of us who are tired of stinking politics of deprecation were given a rare moment of hope.

To be honest, many Malawians still have psychological scars from the wounds that the DPP inflicted on them when it became a pure anti-thesis of democratic governance before 2012. And each time they hear insulting statements like those that are being said at rallies, they have an apprehension that they may be receding to those terrible years of the old DPP rule.

I said once upon a time that Peter’s major weakness may be his impressionability. On his own, he seems to be a man who is not too cultured in dirty politics. But the people who have surrounded him have bad ideas and are a threat to the president’s reputation. These are, to me, the snake eggs that must not be left to hatch, and if they have already hatched they must not be allowed to grow.

So Peter must take Chilima seriously otherwise he will realise too late that his party has lost popularity.

Already, the DPP has a million things to do to start convincing Malawians that their decision at the May polls last year was correct.

With an economy that offers no hope to the majority of citizens and having in place a government whose development strategy is simply obscure, Malawians seriously need to abandon a culture of vanity and start thinking of development.

What Chilima said is not just to do with the DPP but even outside it. If the president chooses not to heed Chilima’s timely and wise warning, he will one day wake up and earn himself the moniker, Father of Snakes.

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