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Savage culture

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Hours after Ecklen Kudontoni sadly veered to his death, I posted on social media that the Democratic Progressive Party would be searching for the next motormouth to be the party’s Secretary General. A good number of people believed Charles Mchacha would be one because, of late, he has been the one talking gibberish at the party’s rallies: and this is one trait of secretary generals if you notice.

Of all the people, I never thought Francis Mphepo would become DPP’s Secretary General until that rally at Masintha last week. You and I will agree that Mphepo is old, old-fashioned, tired and his political mojo wilted a long time ago. The last time I met him was in 2013 at a rally in Bangwe when I was still on the reporting desk. I only knew him by name after a colleague introduced me to him. My first reaction upon learning of him was one of utter bewilderment: why is this man near senility wasting time in politics? I asked myself.

So, on Sunday last week I learnt that he qualifies to be a party secretary general because, just like all secretary generals I know, he too knows how to blubber just to be heard by party sycophants who know little other than being loyally blind. Just like his boss that spoke after him, Mphepo went to town making funny and shocking statement about the media. If you listened well, Mphepo was mistaking social media for conventional media. His ranting was so shallow and misplaced and left most of us with the feeling that this man should be somewhere in the museum to remind posterity of how damned our politics can be.

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Of course, you can easily excuse Mphepo’s dinosaur ideas because he is simply a microcosm of Malawi’s politics. We seem to glorify blatant idiocy and we don’t care about it. Take, for example, one Peter Mutharika, a law professor to boot, unabashedly leads in some show that is laughable even by the most primitive standards. The guy

decided to parade his ministers to tell people of the happenings in their ministries. Well, it might be commendable to tell us what is really happening but when ministers take turns to foam at party jingoist, it is only a waste of time. Obviously, even if the ministers decided to say something they don’t even understand, those party zealots would still clap hands and ululate because that is what they are programmed to do.

I am now convinced that the DPP has some congenital delusion that everything about them is right. They seem not ready to accept that things are messy and they believe some misplaced ministerial statements made to box-thinking party supporters will convinced people like me and other rightly thinking Malawians.

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If you are not convinced why I find the DPP funny is how they are blowing trumpets with the recruitment of wasted politicians such as Etta Banda, Bintony Kuntsaira, Ken Msonda and others whose names I can’t even waste ink to write. What is clearly is that the DPP is desperate to make people believe it is still attractive and people are joining. But we are taking of political whores who have almost gone to bed with every political party that has been in power. DPP is fast losing its halo and swagger that was there when the party was voted — by hook or by crook — in May 2014.

Come to think of it that a party should be celebrating the announcement of people who had already been exuding blue in their hue. And it is quite shocking to learn that these are people the party values and believes they are going to add any value. Msonda is known for his bravery, yes, but the simple truth is that this is a man who in six years has had dalliances with the UDF, PP and DPP should have been enough to remind the DPP that this is a chameleon you can never take seriously.

Because I know the DPP is known for making wrong choices, I am not an inch surprised that, of all the people, the party is grooming George Chaponda to be the next president. Chaponda, at least to me, does look or seem to think like a president. His utterances are sort of that you can hear in a tavern and anywhere where there is a gathering of drunks.

Talk of succession plans, you could see it clear that day at Masintha that the DPP is somehow conniving to shut out Vice President Saulos Chilima. At the rally he was unrecognised. Normally, it is the vice president that invites the president to make a speech but that day, it was Goodall Gondwe who had the honour. Chilima cut a lonely figure and you could tell something was or is wrong. But we know the DPP wanted Chilima’s brighter face to bring some colour to the haggard looks of APM, Chaponda and the rest with frightening faces. Now that he helped them on their way to glory it seems they have turned against him. But who cares?

Chilima fate is predictable because I know it is never that easy for one to align to a bunch of savages. The UDF cornered Justin Malewezi, the DPP bundled out Cassim Chilumpha and this is happening to Chilima. It is a rehashed script.

But I am interested in national matters. As I said earlier, the whole circus at Masintha last week was a confirmation of desperation by a party that is looking for convenient excuses for its inanity and, sadly, it thinks the media is one. No, no, no as one of the members of the media, I refuse to be cowed by people who celebrate their savage culture.

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