DPP diehards call for ‘field marshal’ Ben Phiri’s active role

Following an election defeat in Mchinji West constituency and two wards coupled with not-so-convincing wins in two other wards in the just ended by-elections, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) diehards are calling for the return of the party’s master planner Ben Phiri to the core of the party’s strategy team.

Ben Phiri: DPP's field marshal

Ben Phiri: DPP’s field marshal

Nyasa Times understands that Phiri was not involved in the recent  by-elections camapihn p due to personal commitments but his absence has been noticed in the wake of the dismal performance.

Phiri, former presidential aide and President Peter Mutharika’s trusted blue eyed boy resigned from his powerful position at State House to focus on building his business empire.

He is currently the Executive Chairman of Beata Holdings.

Some senior party sources Nyasa Times talked to colloborated that Phiri was asked by party hierachy to deputise vice president Saulosi Chilima as chairman of the campaign team for the by elections but he turned down the offer citing personal commitments.

“There are many reasons to attribute to the party’s dismal performance but major contributing factor is that Ben Phiri refused to take part in the entire process. We offered him deputy chairmanship of the campaign he refused. Since leaving State House in 2015 he has been very distant from party affairs. Mind you this is the guy who was the hub of DPP’s 2014 campaign strategy that saw us defeating Joyce Banda and her peoples party,” confided a senior party official.

DPP regional governor for south, Charles Mchacha and secretary general Ecklen Kudontoni both confirmed that Phiri is “a key strategist” for the party and they would want him to take active role.

The ruling party failed to maintain its Lilongwe Kaliyeka Ward  which has been  lost to opposition MCP.and further lost in Mchinji West Constituency  and Bembeke Ward in Dedza to the same MCP in the by-elections.

The party has only managed to maintain Kasungu Bunda Ward and Zomba Sadzi which belonged to an independent councillor.
The calls for Phiri’s return have come because whenever his services were availed to electoral cause in the past, the party emerged victorious.

Prior to the 2014 polls, BP, as he is popularly known, was appointed by Professor Mutharika as DPP’s Field Marshal, a role he used to consolidate and mobilize votes across the country through management of resources and strategy.

With his tact on the ground DPP managed to unseat Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party and returned to government after a two-year sojourn in opposition.

Subsequent by-elections were also faced with same winnable strategies up until now when for the first time the DPP has faced a major setback at the polls.

DPP Spokesperson Francis Kasaila said the party looks at its performance in the by-elections positively arguing it went into the by-elections with two wards and has come out of the by-elections with two wards also.

He said the numbers the Mchinji candidate got were more than those on the previous election meaning that the party is gaining ground and that it “will definitely do well in the coming elections in 2019”.

Political analyst from the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Boniface Dulani, has warned the DPP against taking people for granted.

Dulani said in the press that politics in Malawi is taking right direction because the electorate have demonstrated that despite being promised things or given things, they still vote according to their conscience.

“If I were in DPP, I would use the results to rethink whether the party is in tune with what people are thinking,” Dulani said adding that the use of handouts to woo people is now becoming ineffective starting from 2014 elections.

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18 thoughts on “DPP diehards call for ‘field marshal’ Ben Phiri’s active role”

  1. Pa Yembe says:

    Kodi o Ben Phiri wo ndi olowa gule? Chifukwa ozawo onse wene Phiri ndi owedza zeditu.

  2. Zenus Ungapake says:

    At least anthu a ku central mumadziwa kuvotera DPP in thousands. Ifetu ku Mwera MCP sitimaipatsa mavoti oposera 20.

  3. What? says:

    A Dulani simunanenepo zabwino ku DPP. You think there is a party that will unseat DPP in 2019? Academic politics and politics on the ground are two different things. Have you noted how miserably the vocal PP has has flopped?

  4. Mlamu says:

    Ben Phiri we love you. You are a hard worker ever seen.

  5. Chiswazinnegar says:

    I think DPP lost because the economy is under performing and the President is useless —cannot inspire change

  6. Mika Kumbire says:

    ZANU-PF has lost a by election in a constituency that they have never lost before since independence in1980. That’s 36 years. Now that’s worrying. I am Malawi Congress party and I feel MCP must be winning easily in Mchinji, Lilongwe, Dedza and Kasungu. With the low Tobacco prices I am sad that MCP lost in Kasungu where farmers are crying. MCP let’s pull up your socks, The problem with central region is turn out. MCP wins but with small margins.

  7. Odhala says:

    Mwayamba kale kunjenjemela kusonyeza kuti chilungamo chayamba kukutsutsani kkkkkkkk muziona musanati

  8. Mike Nhlane says:

    Dr Phiri was forced into resigning when pressure was unbearable mudslinging him on unfounded accusations. Mtata was at forefront but had many many behind him. Ben resigned and Ntata got his cheque and went quiet.

    Someone somewhere should have seen this. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

    Ben I wish you all the best in your business. Asiye AZITAFUNANA O
    KHAOKHA. Amalizana by 2019.

  9. Afana Zedi says:

    Ben Phiri or no Ben, DPP will lose if it doesn’t focus on the economy. Just focus on creating jobs, building infrastructure, reliable electricity and well run schools and clinics

  10. Takondwa Dzikambani says:

    inu a Ben ndinu munthu wamkulu bwelani muzathandize chipani chanu ichi,patokha zatikanika

  11. Horace Nyasulu says:

    Ben we need you in DPP,we cant win general elections without you,please come

  12. Calling for the return of the devils offspring, typical of dpps choices, another devil indeed, welcome back, This time God will not leave you alive

  13. njonjo says:

    BP – Ben Phiri don’t return use your unique resource to help boost your business otherwise is it possible sir to contest in 2019 as a President? Ntchito za manja anu zachitira umboni – kuli inu magetsi amayaka ngat dzuwa, ana ndikumasegula mmimba ndikukhuta, school fees inali yopezeka, MBIRI YANU ILI PONSE PONSE BOMA iloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, AYAMBA KALE! AYAMBA KALE! KUNJENJEMERA:::::::::::::::::::

  14. Vincent Bonyongwa says:

    Dr Ben Phiri is the man in our party,we need to have him on board if we are serious about 2019 elections

    1. Bangula says:

      Tsano Ben Phiriyu akachitika funeral mutani poti mukuwoneka ngati mwagomera pa iyeyu basi?

    2. PPM says:

      Mwana wa kwathu ku Nachipere simasewera

  15. Edmondson says:

    This is a complete lie. Ben haa never been a dpp strategist.he is simply manipulating events to make himself rerevant . Dpp lost some by elections last year when Ben was at his peak.
    Truth is, this is mcp, backyard. The seat itself was mcp.

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