ColumnsHitting The Nail

MCP needs serious rebranding


There is a growing and almost alarming sense in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) echelons of power that the party’s past perceived success is a magic wand which it can wave at will to serve its present needs.

Take the David Bisnowarty incident during the past week. All the vitriol and racial slurs the MP received were just for the fact that he punched holes in this false sense of belief the MCP holds on to.

The truth of the matter is, during MCP era both good and bad things happened. The bad things cannot be erased just as the good things.


Any honest Malawian you will ever find even on the streets will tell you that during the 31 years of the founding president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s rule Malawi worked.

Quick examples off my head are the country had uninterrupted electricity, free flowing water, working transportation and a healthcare system that was working for every Malawian, including the poor.

Kamuzu also put much emphasis on agriculture which enabled even the poorest of the poor in the rural areas to have something to smile about at harvest time.


Sadly, the country is a shadow of its former self.

Yet there is one fallacy that the present MCP is happy to propagate and it is this: Because certain things worked during Kamuzu’s time, it is automatic that things would also work if MCP were to be given power today.

Obviously this is nonsense but, tragically, it is the prism through which MCP sees itself and this is why MCP has never tasted power again 21 years since it was kicked out because Malawians will never give power to a party that thinks its past gives it a right to govern.

Malawians want an MCP that must prove to them that it can fix Malawi without relying on Kamuzu’s legacy.

Does MCP have the plans and right attitude to bring this country back on track?

On account of what is happening now, I am afraid this is not the case.

Look at how MCP responded to accusations of Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya and party president Lazarus Chakwera acquiring expensive vehicles on taxpayers’ money at a time the country is struggling in everything.

It was ‘we are entitled to it as well and the President, his Vice, Ministers, Ps and directors have the vehicles, why not us?’

Again this is nonsense in its purest form. MCP wants power and they think they will get it by behaving like everybody else.

What about internal wrangles? In the Southern Region where the party is supposed to devote their energies in order to win it in 2019, a war is raging that a whole administrative secretary was beaten to a pulp when he tried to bring sanity among the warring factions.

Even the executive is unsettled with a section of the party delivering a petition and having support of a few disgruntled NEC members calling for a convention when it is not time for it.

But to be voted into office needs endurance and sacrifice in the eyes of the people.

Malawians must see and feel the difference in MCP as an alternative government-in- waiting.

But I am afraid at the moment there is no such vibe from MCP. The party needs total serious rebranding to get this vibe to get elected. The political terrain has changed.

Kids born after MCP left office in 1994 voted for the first time last year. In 2019 they will be joined by many others born five years later who don’t give a damn about the past MCP.

They only care about the future and not the past.

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