Does Malawi need political party coalitions?

Recently it came out in the media that United Democratic Front (UDF) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) want to formalize a governing pact . This is probably to create a deep rooted alliance. It is believed that UDF has even written the Speaker of Parliament to re-organize the sitting arrangement so that UDF members of parliament can sit together with DPP on the government side.

Atupele Muluzi of UDF  greets  DPP supporters

Atupele Muluzi of UDF greets DPP supporters

What UDF and DPP are trying to do is nothing new. Since 1994 Malawians have seen all manner of political party alliances especially when preparing for the elections. If the alliance now is aimed at winning the 2019 elections then it is very unfair to the people of Malawi. DPP has been in power for less than a year and not even started to deliver. Then why think of the next elections so early?

Honestly speaking, party alliances have hidden agendas which no one wants to talk about. What political leaders tend to deliberately forget is that the coalitions are contradicting with the whole purpose of having a multiparty democracy. It is needless to say that Malawians opted for more parties so as to get diverse views on national issues before decisions are made rather than simply toeing the party in power.

Past experience has shown that in most cases party coalitions are a decision by the top leadership. They claim to have consulted the party members. This is usually not the case. The obvious benefit from the coalition seem to go to the leaders as they enjoy the spoils of government and get special protection.. The weaker party spice up the coalition by some meaningless statement that they are in coalition because it is the best way they can serve the nation. This has been said countless times but there is nothing to write home about. What they deliberately forget is that the alliance is not on equal terms.

There is no way the weaker party can come up with policies and expect the stronger party accept and use them. For example DPP is in power and it has its own ideals and policies to follow. It is very doubtful that opinions from UDF will carry the day.

In fact, most Malawians can remember so well how Late President Bingu wa Muthalika , the founder of DPP was tactfully forced out of UDF in 2005. Now, the same UDF is crawling back to have an alliance with DPP. It is true that there are no permanent enemies or friends in politics. It is also equally true that DPP and UDF coalition cannot be very genuine because they cannot openly discuss issues while at the back of their minds they recall how Bingu was thrown out of UDF.

It should also be stated that from past experience coalition of parties just destroy weaker parties. Aford is a good example.

It can also be mentioned that the Malawi parliament is now showing some maturity in terms of debates. The government cannot just assume that it will be saved by its coalition members to get Bills pass. MPs really scrutinize Bills and if there is need to throw them out, they do so. Instead of coalitions, MPs should just learn how to lobby support by coming up with sensible arguments, failing which people will always be suspicious about the motive of party coalitions.

It is undeniable that in Malawi politics leaders seem to still want one party rule hence a ruling party tries to coax other parties to join it. Malawians voted for multiparty democracy in 1993 and leaders should bare this in mind. Parties should phase out just because of poor management not that they are being swallowed by a party in power.

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29 thoughts on “Does Malawi need political party coalitions?”

  1. Fabiano Mbendera says:

    What matters most is development. Lets pray hard that they should unite for the better of Malawi nothing else.

  2. Opale says:

    Kumpoto koma kunyera mmazi

  3. What’s wrong with strategising for the next elections???? If you can’t beat them join them. It’s up to MCP & PP to start strategising. If you can’t prepare properly how can you expect to win any competition? We have heard sportsmen from deferent disciplines of sports saying that they lost cos of complacency. Most of the Parties or Teams when they have won they take the victory behind them & start analysing the weaknesses & strong points so that they can stay on top so I don’t see any concern here that UDF & DPP are planning to almagamate or whatever. After all DDP is a product of UDF, it could have bothered me if I could have heard that MCP is going to bed with DPP. But PP, DPP & UDF are all one. Now the author there is nothing new here.

  4. collins says:

    no need

  5. Milward says:

    Nothing new here! Politics is a game of numbers. Any shrewd politician cannot leave himself exposed intentionally. Why should anyone feel uncomfortable with a party trying to consolidate its position as a party in government? Is this a case of trying to promote selfish interests? This has been done elsewhere so why not here?


  7. Alfred Munduwabo says:

    Eleson Bakili Muluzi , the first Multiparty President of the Repbulic of Malawi said that the country of Malawi should be lured by Southerners at any cost , that is why Eleson Bakili Muluzi supports any leader from the South . The same Eleson Bakili Muluzi supported Joyce Banda , Daniel Phiri and this time he is supporting Auther Petel Munthalika.
    Eleson Bakili Muluzi never supported The Late Hon Aleke Banda and The Hon Justin Malewezi to handover presidency to these two because they did not come from the Southern Region.
    The two most POWERFUL MUSLIM POLITICIANS Hon Kassim Chilumpha and the Hon Uladi Musa failed to be handed over presidency by Eleson Bakili Muluzi because they all don’t come from Southern Region no matter they are his fellow Muslims.
    Muluzi is very regionalistic . Believe it , all those presidents in Malawi who have stolen taxpayers money will not be arrested or imprisoned because they are BIRDS OF THE SAME FEATHERS. They also have a hidden agenda .

    1. ahoy says:

      Alfred, wish to remind u that the same Elson Bakili said aMalawi siti chedwa kuiwara. U ve forgotten already that Bakili and MCP teamed in an election in order to oust Bingu. The candidate was baba JZU from the center. In Malawi politics u can’t b definate.

  8. Mweeta Ookhwene says:

    If only the author of this article can remove DPP and UDF in the article and replace them with Conservatives and Liberals (in the UK) she will see how hollow her arguments are.

  9. Nkhoma wa a Mlauzi says:

    Emily, though Malawians opted for more parties to get diverse views on national issues, on the other hand this clearly shows that Malawi is too small to host more than two major political parties. Look at Britain and USA, how many political parties (major ones) do they have? It’s high time these small parties got swallowed by bigger parties. Otherwise instead of offering diverse views they will end up confusing people. Some of these parties have similar agenda and I feel it’s wiser just to merge the leadership and work together towards the common good of the nation. We are not in Malawi to wittiness which party is powerful or greater than the other, rather we are here to serve our nation and be served by leaders who have our welfare at heart. I rest may case.

  10. jesus is lord says:

    Out of the top Four big parties in malawi, malawians voted UDF as the worst coming in fourth behind Dpp Mcp pp this showed just how people didn’t want or believe in the UDF policies yet here we are pushing things people don’t want on them democracy indeed

  11. it seems UDF wants to die its natural death

  12. mr federalism says:

    Only federalism can solve all this greedy in my beloved country

  13. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Forget about UDF. We all know UDF is gradually dying.

    In Chews, they say,’make mbu mwana mbuu’. Meaning they altitudes are the same. Parties, executive members and followers are rotten headed.

  14. malawian says:

    kkkkkkk zikumuwawa Emily mkamanga kkkkkkkk zako izo. ukunamidza anthu kuti bingu adanthamangitsa ku UDF, adamunthamangitsa ndani. adachoka yekha atakana kuimbilidwa belu nda abakili.

  15. Patriot says:

    Kodi UDF ilipo?
    Chiantha ngati makatani chipani cha asilamuchi kkkkkk

  16. iyawm says:

    DPP and UDF yomweyo!! 2019 bomaaaa!!!

  17. skopion says:

    let them join, iwe wa PP ukulira chani? unya mpwerere sunati, how many political parties exist now in our country? the number is just too much for this small country, take a look at US where your master is hiding, how many political parties do they have? and who are you Emily to start telling DPP or UDF when to plan for 2019 elections? akutuma eti…marabish!

  18. Zanga Phee! says:

    Greedy is the whole context of this development it won’t develop Malawi We need new blood in every five years i wonder why government sideline people like James Nyondo which their plans are being implemented in one way or the other in directly Now.Those are the signs and symptoms of Malawi’s downfall.See My Name.

  19. Maximum Prison says:

    That’s cowardness the constitution is clear on freedom of association! If a party wants alliance with another party what’s wrong with that? PP made alliance with AFFord who complained? After all DPP was born from UDF therefore there is nothing new! Only Tumbukas and Chewas can complain of this alliance for they well know that DPP+UDF is unbeatable combination!

  20. Nkhombokombo says:

    These people are one. This coalition is nothing less than regionalistic and tribalistic. The idea will destroy the already ailing politics of our country, Mr Speaker sir, please, throw this request out! These political thugs are basing their “coalition” on their tribal strong holds. They all originate from the south where the population is dense. They want to win through a premitive way of headcount and not genuine ideal political agenda. This will divide our country. Atupele is being used, he better watch out!

  21. Marioshona man says:

    malawia strongly needs party aliance to save economically as regards 50 + win presidential election if that formula has to be implimented in future elections .

  22. matchaya says:

    asiyeni apite akawazuzeko Ku DPP ko zinakanika Bambo ake iye ndiye angatani ndi a lomwe akuona ngati enawo akumuonera kukondwa eti. A Chaponda ndigulu lawo avomera zimenezi tidzaona komwe zidzathere.

  23. special advisor says:

    As a matter of fact, we need to change the law to restrict formation of new political parties and to rationalize the number of current ones. A basic question should be what is your ideology. If two parties are similar the rest must join the party with similar ideology that registered first.
    BUT if you talk of UDF and DPP, these have always been one and are tying to set an example of how to integrate two political patties that have similar ideology.
    MAY I ADD….we all heard recent noises that Malawians are the poorest lot in the universe. Don’t believe that lie. It is a DPP trick. They want to use it as baseline. Its fake baseline intended for 2019 elections.
    To echo what someone observed about mulamu Chakwera, it’s strategic to volunteer some opinions on crucial issues publicly. Even if it means announcing that party spokes person and shadow ministers will speak on relevant issues. If that be so, also establish a protocol whereby in their statements they clearly acknowledge your leadership and the party e.g. “ife ngati MCP, pamodzi ndi a president athu, tikuti…kapena mahanizo athu pa nkhaniyi ndi oti…”. Yes as I individuals people that hold public offices also have individual opinion. But they should avoid kubwebwetuka without self moderation at the expense of showing leadership as expected of the public positions that they hold.
    OK remember the fake baseline by Goodall and Peter. They’re looking far. Be wise to do likewise.

  24. A very big reason why malawi is going nowhere.campaign never end,even a day after elections results

  25. Weniweni Balakasa says:

    Atupele ndi wadyera ngati bambo wake. Tamusiyeni his political carier yitha ngati ma curtain. Kaya ayao ndichena Lucias Banda ayisova

  26. Birds of the same feathers move togather. They are all UDF(united destructional forces for democratic progessive plunder)DPP. When will Malawi open its eyes and see these economic vampires!!!!

  27. sukani says:

    That is good writing and good report,people still don’t know what is multiparty system of government,the effects of that ,it will take long time Malawi to develop because of same people.

  28. jam mame says:

    whether u like it or not dpp and udf alliance will remain .i no u fear the srong and alliance it will bne

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