Recycled politicians: What’s their quid pro quo?


For a people with a non-existent industrial recycling sector, our penchant to recycle politicians is paradoxical.

Look here Blues’ Orators, Malawi is landlocked and cash-strapped. Shouldn’t investing in the right kind of recycling; recycling as in converting waste materials or products e.g. scrap metal, bottles, plastic and other related packages, etc. into new materials and objects, be the number one priority.

Recycling would prevent waste of potentially useful materials while reducing consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby curbing energy usage, air and water pollution. It would also save us forex.


Although the extent of our industrial recycling is unknown, the mountains of garbage in our locations or the industrial waste flowing freely to Lake Malawi are evidence enough that very little deliberate industrial recycling occurs.

But you know what? Not all is lost. Our blessing lies in our mastery of the science and art of recycling of political rubbish.

You know that the major parties namely: Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are now at it, soliciting political prostitutes with abandon.


The result is that political prostitutes are no longer pariahs; not only are they in hot demand, but those with cash can purchase everything they need to launder their dubious résumés.

In response to MCP’s strides in this venture, DPP has launched a vicious counterattack and its efforts are bearing fruits. Just last week, it extracted three ‘Yes-I-do’s from Ken Lipenga, Henry Phoya and Brown James Mpinganjira.

The venue of the nuptials couldn’t have been better selected.

Lunzu Township, on the M1, has seen everything there is in the world of prostitution. Lunzu Town House back in the day, was home to Kwasakwasa tournaments which invariably ended up with the dancers showcasing their tail-wagging skills horizontally in Lunzu’s seedy motels, often with the flamboyant promoters of those days.

Then Lunzu played host to “Manda Awiri” the precursor of the Road House – the Sodom and Gomorrah of Kabula!

That Lunzu was deemed the ideal location on which to romance Phoya, Mpinganjira, and Lipenga speaks volumes.

If indeed it is true that only a thin line separates prostitution from politics, consummating both on the same location makes sense.

For the record, Lipenga held numerous ministerial positions in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and DPP before he migrated to People’s Party (PP) after the death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika.

His final Cabinet portfolio was that of Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development in the Joyce Banda administration. The infamous cash gate broke loose under his watch. Is he really an asset?

Mpinganjira held various ministerial portfolios during the UDF era, tried a disastrous solo run, then resurrected as Minister of Information under the PP government. Is he worth anyone’s time?

Phoya served as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in the Bingu administration before joining MCP in transit to PP. Next destination?

In Lunzu, President Peter Mutharika declared that the doorway is now open to all and sundry, even to those who bolted from DPP before Bingu had been laid to rest.

Warning the newcomers, Mutharika said:

“I want loyalty. Don’t wear blue during day and another colour in the night!”

Speaking on behalf of his fellow nomads, Mpinganjira – a man with a way with words – pledged total fidelity, saying:

“The current government puts the welfare of Malawians at heart and I will ensure that I work with it in all its activities regardless of any challenges or setbacks,” something he also said while donning orange regalia, when joining PP.

What can we take home?

Firstly, the insanity of banking on nomadic politicians, who are either opportunistic prospectors or political prostitutes, reveals the depth of hypocrisy in both MCP and DPP.

Remember when MCP was courting Mia?

Despite his voyaging from UDF-to-DPP-to-PP-to-MCP, MCP followers were at pains to convince the world that it’s all about numbers.

Some even dared to suggest that Mia isn’t the very definition of a fully recycled politician. What a load!

Ironically, the same MCP apologists, while fiercely defensive of Mia, had little or no time to defend other nomadic politicians in their midst.

Nomads like Cornelius Mwalwanda and James Chikago, were left to fend for themselves when accused of political prostitution.

DPP diehards on the other hand, were full of scorn, and had field days mocking MCP’s folly of mooning over someone who abandons parties when they need him the most.

Come this recent DPP’s coupling with characters whose CVs are split images of Mia’s, it is vice versa.

MCP apologists, like the proverbial leopard that ridicules his neighbour’s catch and yet is full of self-praise when he successfully traps a mere grasshopper; are busy calling DPP’s excitement the height of self-deceit.

Listening to DPP zealots talking about BJ, you would think he is Socrates incarnate!

This hypocrisy, double-standards and what have you, is why the younger generation will remain what it is: a generation of hand clappers for recycled politicians.

Secondly and perhaps more worrisome is that with MCP and DPP investing in teaching old dogs new tricks, they risk crowding their parties with tried-tested-and-failed politicians at the expense of new blood.

Now, if our politics and country needed anything like yesterday, it is new blood with the zest and inclination to challenge the old ways of doing things.

Finally, there is always the question of the quid pro quo. What is in it for the Mias and the BJs of our world?

Would a businessman of Mia’s calibre just throw money into a political cause for nothing?

As for the likes of BJ et al, is too soon to predict that sooner or later, we will see them swimming in money?

Blues Orators, these questions are what we must be concerned about regardless of the party we purport to support. If we want the best for Malawi, through whichever party, we must put Malawi first and partisan interests second.

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