Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock (Matthew 7:24 King James Version)
I know not who in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) would care to lend an ear and take heed of what I am about to say but it appears the party, which is at the pinnacle of the Tonse Alliance-led administration, is now walking on quick sand. The recent communication by the party’s secretary general (SG) Eisenhower Mkaka to National Executive Committee (Nec) members that anyone wishing to meet the party’s leader Lazarus Chakwera, who is also State President, should book their appointments via the office of the SG or the secretariat, shows that the MCP might not be running like a well-oiled machine as most of us would like to believe.
In a democratic dispensation such as that which Malawi enjoys, it is never a surprise to sometimes see politicians or political parties throwing caution to the wind by doing away with decorum and instead promoting an open door policy, hence the letter by Mkaka might have, to some members and people at large, come as a surprise. Others might even go to the extent of viewing the development as an attempt by the party SG to block access for some people to the president.
But then, in every undertaking there must be order and semblance… you mean to tell me that there are some people in the party who just wake up and decide to ‘harass’ the State President’s secretary or Aide- De-Camp with calls to book an appointment for party affairs with Chakwera? This might be a recipe for disaster because, not so long ago, we saw how some people working at State House were arrested and dragged to court after being implicated in corruption matters (the cement saga) and who knows what those whose party is in government now might be scheming behinds people’s or the President’s back.
Of course, it is worth noting that MCP was built upon the fulcrum of four corner stones; loyalty, unity, obedience and discipline and, therefore, the party SG might have noticed that some chaos was setting in; in as far as access to the party president is concerned. Indeed, much as Chakwera is MCP president, the cost of leading Malawi far outweighs that of leading the oldest party in the land, which is why perhaps the SG thought it wise to remind party members that they need not inundate their president with each and every party issue, which may as well be handled through set party structures.
But even if that were the case, going to the extent of penning a letter for the attention of all party members might be viewed as hyperbole. The simple thing Mkaka might have done was to summon party officials to a meeting where a hearty chat on the issue would have sufficed as opposed to going all formal as he has done.
And then reading the reaction from one of the party’s concerned members Alex Major to Mkaka’s statement, one is left with the view that there might just be some voices of discontent within the MCP over how the party is handling its affairs as well as how the Tonse Alliance is running government. By association, the alliance was brought in the picture on this matter when Major wondered whether the other eight members of the Tonse Alliance would be subjected to the same routine of going through Mkaka or, indeed, MCP secretariat every time they wish to have a meeting with the MCP leader.
The bottom line is that MCP should not be washing ‘dirty linen’ in public as has been the case this week. This might give people a wrong impression that the party is disorganised and that the officials are not in sync with their followers, let alone the party president —if he is meeting people behind the secretariat’s back.
The task that is before this government and all the parties that have formed it is a huge one as we are ravaged by natural disasters, the Covid-19 pandemic, polio, stuttering economy punctuated by the high cost of living and, as such, things might be further thrown into disarray if MCP, which is a key partner, should engage in bickering and petty fights.
And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand (Matthew 7:26 King James Version).
Stephen Dakalira is a seasoned Journalist who works as Times Group’s Online and Digital Executive Editor. He is also the Assistant Editor of The Sunday Times Newspaper, and author of Full Circle column which appears in Malawi News; all of these under the Times Group stable.
He has previously worked in key positions for some of Malawi’s key media institutions such as Malawi News Agency, Capital FM Radio and Star Radio (Now Timveni Radio).