Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Rev Dr Lazarous Chakwera, who is also leader of the opposition in Parliament, has said that he is unfazed by the public foul-mouthing he is getting from ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP0 hierarchy, saying he will remain focused on rebuilding the party for the 2019 general elections.
Chakwera, better known as a preacher than a politician, in an interview on Times TV with host Brian Banda, said MCP will not be distracted by DPP’s salvage politics.
The leader of opposition, who is well known for preaching with eloquence a message of hope and dignity through Christ, when he was president of Assemblies of God, has been accused by DPP gurus of abandoning God’s work to pursue his selfish interest in politics.
Chakwera said he hasn’t abandoned or left ministry. He explained that he just retired from a position in one type of ministry to take up a role in another as a broadening of God’s responsibility bestowed upon him.
The MCP leader pointed out that many Christians have shunned joining politics and believed the notion that is advanced in our societies that politics is dirty forgetting “it is people who are dirty that make politics dirty” through various malpractices.
He said time has come to change this belief.
Chakwera said he will not join DPP is verbal attacks, saying sis vision is to cleanse the country of corruption and improve the living standards of ordinary Malawians.
Guided by the message of the scriptures that say when the righteous rule, people rejoice, Chakwera said he will rejuvenate MCP to be ready to govern Malawi for the good of all people regardless of tribe, region or any affiliation.
“Whatever anyone says about me does not define nor deter my objective of joining politics. My goal is to serve Malawians and make Malawi a better place for all,” said Chakwera.
“If they have problems with me that will not make me have problems with them personally. I am for policies and issues to make Malawi a better place. Insults do not make better politics. That is not what is good for Malawians, is it?”
Composed and relaxed Chakwera said politics should be about serving the people not salvage attacks.
“Politics is about running a country. It is about championing policies to help people within a jurisdiction. Politics, just like water, would only become dirty because of the people within its systems. Otherwise, politics in itself cannot and should not be dirty,” said the MCP president.
Times TV’s Banda asked Chakwera to comment on the alleged rigging of 2014 polls.
But Chakwera referred Banda to Malawi Human Rights Commission report and other observers’ reports which say the May 20, 2014 controversial elections were not credible.
“In the words of two witnesses a matter is established. I, as president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have been begging people at every chance that Malawi must not stop because of a singular event. We should learn to move on despite the obvious mistakes made in the past. Chakwera is not the kind of person and will never be the first one to get the presidency by hook or crook,” he said.
He was also quizzed on MCP membership being dominated by politicians from the central region and asked when he last held a rally in the south.
Chakwera dismissed that the country’s oldest political establishment is fading into a regional force.
“I was in the (southern) region meeting the newly elected MCP Southern Regional Committee in the past week. It is not only a political rally that says we are building the party in the region. We are revamping and re-energising grassroots structures of the party from the areas, constituencies, districts, regions and nationally. This is what I and the entire Malawi Congress Party believes in strengthening the party,” said Chakwera, a highly articulate leader.
Chakwera said the party which recently welcomed back its former influential members, including 2014 elections People’s Party presidential running mate Sosten Gwengwe and deputy general secretary George Zulu is now poised to reclaim support in the Northern and Southern regions.
He said several leaders on its national executive committee (NEC), including party vice-president Richard Msowoya and general secretary Gustav Kaliwo, who come from the North and South respectively, is indication that the MCP had spread its wings nationwide.—Additional reporting by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :