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ColumnsTales of Time

 Its genesis

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When former president Bakili Muluzi’s bid for a third term in office was blocked by members of his party—United Democratic Front—and the opposition, he was too incensed such that he decided to punish all those who had aspirations to succeed him.

Muluzi decided to pick one unheralded Bingu wa Mutharika, an outsider, purportedly in vengeance and to hurt party gurus who did not support his bid for another show in office.

Bingu, in 1999, had a toy grouping which he called United Party (UP) which failed atrociously at the polls. He was, to be raw, an ambitious joker and only managed to get shoe-size votes: likely not even his spouse and children and his kinsmen voted for him.

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It had to take some grand art of deception for Bingu to realise his dream. This is where the story begins.

Muluzi wanted a puppet through which he could still rule the country. The easiest and nearest option was Bingu. Bingu often appeared on stage in baggy and saggy pants, and oversized shirt and some awkward shoes. Muluzi thought he had found the perfect guy who he could manipulate easily. At rallies, all the talking was done by Muluzi and Bingu was only given about three to five minutes to address people.

Most of us believed Bingu was that sleepy, docile and harmless being he pretended to be. As they say, lawlessness is young ambitions ladder, Bingu turned out to be another shrewd character who had mastered the art of deception just to get what he wanted.

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It must be in February of  2005, after being elected on the United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket, Bingu announced the formation of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Thus DPP got into government after deceiving the UDF. This is where the culture of deception in the DPP spring from.

Going through the memory lane, it is never surprising that since its deceptive birth, the DPP has survived on nothing but crookedness. It doesn’t even care.

When Bingu wa Mutharika died in April 2012, some party gurus had to gather in a desperate attempt to usurp power. Actually, they had to fly out a dead man with a last lie of his “life” as Daniel Phiri. They even had to lie about Bingu’s actual date of death.

In death or in life, the DPP has never been ashamed of using crooked means to get its way through. When people are organising protests, the party has that tendency of having some of its crazy shindig just to counter others. Pure crookedness.

Right now, one of the issues that is burning is about the building of stadiums— stadia—for two popular-yet-dwarfed-in-ambition teams, my BeForward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets. The move is simply just another shyster’s way of gaining support from the masses. DPP realised that these two overgrown orphans called football teams have a massive following and a promise of stadia building would excite their fans. Of course, those who still have heads do not like the idea.

Recently in Parliament, Leader of the House wanted to push through a motion about the confirmation of one acting Police Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa. The Leader of the House, Kondwani Nankhumwa tried to sneak in the motion after noticing that opposition legislators were outnumbered after some were not in attendance.

It is a pity that we have a government that survives on crookedness, savagely, impunity and brutality. It is a pity that in all the years of its existence, the DPP has flourished on the very tenets that are against civilization.

In case, the other day, you would wonder why the DPP is never ashamed of being involved in theft, corruption and deception, just go back to how it was formed and how it came to power. It is all a matter of its genesis.

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