When Ecklen Kudontoni, the departed secretary general of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), veered to his death, I wrote here that the DPP would be searching for the next motormouth to occupy the glorious position of Secretary General.
Secretaries general of political parties, especially ruling parties in this country, have, unfortunately, been a bunch of speak-before-you-think type. Actually, it appears the qualification for the position of secretary general is having a skill in dishing out nonsensical speeches.
Last week, DPP Secretary General, Greselder Jeffrey lived true to the expectations of a typical secretary general of a ruling party in Malawi: too much noise and zero thinking. Apart from the president being the poster boy or girl of a political party, the secretary general is the CEO, and one would expect a CEO to be sophisticated with an aura of decorum and standards. But Jeffrey wa Jeffrey—as her admirers call her—has proven to be just one on the list of party secretaries general we pray to forget.
Actually, it is not what Lady Jeff said that I have issues with rather it is the show of ineptitude from a very senior official of a ruling party that has moved me. It is true that, as per numbers, it will take some generations for the Northern Region to produce the country’s head of state. The closest the Northern Region came to the presidency was when the late Robson Chirwa was in the adhoc governing triumvirate at the time Kamuzu Banda was under the weather, then came that time Chakufwa Chihana
blew it during transition from one-party-rule to multiparty democracy and when Khumbo Kachali was an accidental deputy to Joyce Banda.
Hang me if you like, but looking at the never-ending fights in the north, the numbers, the stinking and deeply entrenched regionalism in this country, it is very true that it would take a miracle for the north to produce a president.
But Jeffrey, much as I concede some tinge of truth in her wayward utterance, I question her grounds. It is mad to think that the Northern Region’s only hope is the Alliance for Democracy (Aford). Aford—hear me right—is a wasted party that has overtime worked so hard to destroy itself through greed, regionalism and the idea of being a Chihana Family entity. So, to weigh the chance of the Northern Region to produce a president on the ticket on Aford is miscalculation by Jeffrey.
Jeffrey, in case she has forgotten, is secretary general of a party whose god was hitherto 2004 or 2009 a 20- vote presidential candidate whose supporters were even less than his entire clan. Who would have thought that Bingu wa Mutharika—for that is the god I am talking about—would one day become president. In fact, Jeffrey’s current president, Peter, rode on his brother’s legacy to become president.
Before the accident of death in 2012, no one thought Joyce Banda would ever walk to State House. One drunken politician even declared in public that this country was not ripe for a female president. But who governed us between April 2012 and May 2014?
Well, who will and who will never govern us can be left to fate and let Jeffrey have her right of opinion just like those who think otherwise.
But what I am, as I said earlier, interested in is the generous show on inanity by Jeffrey. I was once upon a time cheated to believe that Jeffrey would bring some sanity to the position of secretary general in the DPP. It was that time when she appeared to have stopped the loquacious Chief Lundu from dovetailing a funeral into a political rally. How wrong I was.
The DPP, if it cares to hear, is committing a gradual suicide to maintain in such a serious position a person whose mouth has a faster engine that what is upstairs. As we draw closer to 2019, political parties have upon themselves the chance to wow or repulse people. By undermining the Northern Region, Jeffrey has not only incensed a few souls but has just revealed that her party has disregard and disrespect for people of the Northern Region.
By the way, I come from Nkhotakota where Jeffrey also comes from. At home we are called kaka and the ladies are called dada. So, let me be a little mellow to Jeffrey. Dear Jeffrey it is only an ephemeral moment to be glorified for blubbering according to your political party’s dictates and pleasure. But condemning the whole region is politically careless and that was rubbish, dada.
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