Mutharika hopes for a better day in 2025

In June 2020, Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party-DPP were chased out of government for good. Former Leader of Opposition and Pastor, Lazarus Chakwera took over the leadership. Malawi Congress Party, which ruled during the dictatorship from 1964 to 1994, took over. Mutharika got 39.4% of the vote against Chakwera’s 58.6%. DPP, branded the ‘system’, was forcefully sent packing.

Like Jesus Christ, Mutharika ‘weeped’ bitterly. He feels robbed. But, nothing changes. He was out. DPP was out. Dusted! Some blame Mutharika. The party’s soft-spoken and now forgotten former Secretary General, Grezelder Jeffrey told Mutharika to rest. That’s when cracks and divisions born in the Party.

Speaking in an interview , University of Malawi professor of political and administrative studies, Happy Kayuni said the extent to which DPP will be successful or not depends on how it tackles all issues without protecting certain individuals.

“If they do not ignore recommendations emerging from real issues, then we will say that it will be on the road to recovery, but if they decide to ignore some, then there will be no movement,” said Kayuni.

Chimwemwe Kandodo, Head of Political Studies at Catholic University added: “It is dangerous that even supporters have lost trust in the leadership. Once you lose trust, it is difficult to get that back, but they can regain that if they reunite.”

Four years passe. Year one comes. Chakwera shows signs of what a better leadership should not be. The economy is bad. People are struggling and crying out loud. They don’t see the promised Canaan anywhere close. Still, he can’t tame his brutal appetite for frequent travels.

Of course, pandemics and disasters have worsened things! Cruel COVID-19, merciless Cyclone Ana and Gombe, devastating Cholera, heartless Cyclone Freddy and clueless leadership-all have almost made Malawi hell! The economy-already riddled with senseless expenditures-can’t stop bleeding profusely.

Now, one year to another election, Mutharika, 84, thinks Chakwera must pack and go.

Mutharika was speaking at Njamba ground on Sunday 12th, May 2024 where he said Chakwera has failed. He claimed people want him back on ballot Yes!

DPP’s spokesperson, Shadric Namalomba said people will vote for DPP.

But political and social commentator, Wonderful Mkhutche thinks the DPP never learns.

“Yes, Tonse Alliance is underperforming. But it will be a challenge for Malawians to go back to Peter Mutharika. The voters have moved on and DPP was also supposed to act in those lines,”argued Mkhutche.

Governance expert, Makhumbo Munthali warned: “Mutharika should avoid trusting his inner circle more than the party’s constitutionally mandated governance structures.”

Some have cautioned Mutharika to tread carefully. In 2018, Vice President Saulos Chilima resigned from DPP with a scathing corruption allegation within government then. He left with votes which Mutharika recently regretted not having during the June 2020 presidential poll.

In his remarks, Ernest Thindwa, a political analyst once observed the party did not really need any functional review, but rather proper leadership and intra-party democracy. “DPP needs to embrace intra-party democracy. There is no competition for leadership,” he said.

Can Mutharika mount a serious change against Chakwera’s Tonse Alliance? Mkhutche again: “Time and politics is past him now. He is only good to the extent of strengthening the party. But for the elections, he is no longer most people’s option for power.”

Whether Mutharika, Msaka, Kabambe or any other soul on ballot, for certain, DPP’s fresh grave looks so deep in some prevailing elements of undemocratic voices and actions within. Burial soon!

In a separate interview, Information Minister, Moses Kunkuyu has reaffirmed that President Lazarus Chakwera cannot leave his duty station for he understands his responsibility as president and expectations Malawians have.

Kunkuyu, who is also government’s spokesperson, argued the president can’t just sit and not act on the things that would make Malawi a better place for everyone.

“But he is working in a way that lays solid foundations for the good Malawi. As such, Dr Chakwera is not going to leave his duty station,” added Kunkuyu.

Malawi goes for another general election in September 2025.

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