Gwanda Chakuamba again! Bingu must be turning in his grave

It is now too late to advise President Peter Mutharika against welcoming into the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Mr. Stephen Gwandanguluwe Nyachikanza Chakuamba Phiri. That has already happened. It happened on Friday, April 8, 2016 at a DPP rally at Nchalo in Chikwawa.Loose cannon

The 81-year old politician said he had decided to spend the rest of his life serving the DPP and President Mutharika as reciprocation to Head of State’s recent decision that government sends him to South Africa for medical attention.

Chakuamba’s umpteenth return to frontline politics after numerous ‘retirements’ received very little fanfare. True to a few reviews, the erstwhile Lower Shire political giant does not bring any value to the DPP or, indeed, the Malawi political landscape. He is simply a political spent force who has flip-flopped on his political journey in pursuit of his own selfish ends.

A clearly phony politician, Chakuamba is not going to DPP to serve the party (or the nation) but to save himself from poverty. As a governing party, the DPP controls public resources, which may benefit Chakuamba and his immediate dependents. Remember, recently, Chakuamba made a stunning revelation that he is a destitute who cannot even afford to pay rentals. By joining DPP, Gwanda has played his last card.

However, what is more perplexing in all this drama is how Chakuamba has managed to convince President Mutharika to share a common political podium. They say there are no permanent enemies (or friends) in politics but the enmity between Chakuamba and the Mutharikas may have been an exception.

A political rolling stone, Chakuamba has worked with almost all major political parties in Malawi including his original Malawi Congress party (MCP), the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) of the late multiparty icon, Thom Chakufwa Chihana.

He has led his own party, the Republican Party (RP), which he dumped in 2005 to join the DPP of the late President Mutharika. He was appointed as Vice President of the DPP and Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation. Malawians remember how the relationship between Gwanda Chakuamba and the late Bingu wa Mutharika ended in an extremely acrimonious manner in 2007.

Among some issues that ripped their relationship apart was Gwanda’s absurd obsession with a luxurious vehicle, BMW X5 series, which he had bought himself as Minister of Agriculture against laid down procedures.

When he was fired as Minister and DPP Vice President, Chakuamba left the DPP and found the New Republican Party (NRP). He courted UDF’s Bakili Muluzi and supported Muluzi’s unsuccessful presidential comeback bid in 2009.

Since Chakuamba and Bingu wa Mutharika fell out, the former has made degrading and demeaning remarks against the latter. He once called Bingu wa Mutharika ‘Fwaka fwaka’, his Sena language description of a pathological liar, following the late President’s announcement that the port town of Nsanje would be transformed into a mega city. At some point, Chakuamba made fun of the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s speech defects. It was that bad.

Many people now wonder how the DPP can let Chakuamba in when its former leader Bingu wa Mutharika had vowed in 2009 never to work with Chakuamba following their acrimonious fall-out. They say to understand where you are going, you must understand the beginning.

Once, at a public rally in Nkhotakota in 2008, Chakuamba claimed that the late President was not a Malawian but Angolan. He substantiated his claim by suggesting that Bingu wa Mutharika had buried his late wife, Ethel, at a farm because he had no village in Malawi. He was thereafter arrested and charged with inciting violence.

In the run up to the 2009 elections, some people had advised the DPP that they would never win the Lower Shire unless Gwanda was allowed back into the party.  It is reported that a group of ministers met President Bingu wa Mutharika and informed him that Gwanda had agreed to rejoin the party, which the late President turned down.  Bingu informed the ministers that he could never work with anybody who mocked his wife’s death.

Actually, Bingu delegated the then DPP Regional Governor for the South, Noel Masangwi to announce at a public rally the decision he had made about Gwanda’s return to the DPP.  It was on the same day that Gwanda’s right-hand man, Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, announced his resignation from Gwanda’s party and rejoined DPP.

It is therefore inconceivable today that Chakuamba has decided to sell himself to the DPP for money and that President Peter Mutharika has decided to break his late brother’s vow never to admit Chakuamba again into their fold. Bingu wa Mutharika must be turning in his grave!

Cabinet reorganisation

There have been many reviews on the recent cabinet reshuffle, many of which have described it as pointless. There have been few changes notably the dropping of Agriculture Minister Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza. Indeed, it is the prerogative of the President to fire and hire cabinet ministers. However, one expects that ‘prerogative’ to bear semblance of rationality.

The sacking of  Chiyembekeza does not make any sense at all. The Bunda-trained agriculturist was an honest, dedicated and most qualified Minister of Agriculture Malawi has ever had. There are a few gaffes he may have committed but gaffes that don’t warrant sacking. He may be a victim of circumstances where anything doesn’t seem to work for this government.

The appointment of Mrs. Patricia Kaliati as Information Minister is an interesting one. I have huge respect for Akweni and she is one politician that i freely can call at any time be it midnight or wee hours and she does not disappoint. She also calls me any time  if she has official  information to pass.

As a matter of fact, Kaliati is not an effective communicator  but credit should be given to her for always be ready to grant the media interviews.  She has her own dark spots and it should also be remembered that  this is the woman, as Information Minister, who pointlessly insisted in 2012 that the late President Bingu wa Mutharika had not died when the late President’s body was actually decomposing!

The retention of. Goodall Gondwe as Finance Minister is retrogressive to say the least. This is the Minister who has presided over an economy in its worst downturn this time around. Goodall was all over defending the sale of MSB Bank when all voices of reason had opposed the move. Look at what the 250 employees of MSB Bank and FDH Bank are facing now-doom!

Goodall has presided over the tumbling of local currency, the Kwacha, against major currencies such as the US dollar, resulting in rising inflation and the general rise in the price of goods and services.. He  has presided over wild tax measures the business sector and the common people have to grapple with to survive. It has been said before and it will be said again. Instead of working to create an enabling environment for business to flourish, Goodall has turned government into a parasite that is now sucking the blood of the very engine of economic growth-private sector.

It has been said before and it will be said again. Goodall Gondwe might have been a bright economist at some point, but President Mutharika must accept that the man is now just a shadow of the economist he used to be. The time Peter Mutharika will realize he has been feeding on garbage from his friend; Malawi will be in economic tatters.

As musiciain  Billy Kaunda lamented in the quote below, the poor who woke up in the morning to put some privileged folks in State House, at Capital Hill or in town halls will just be salivating as a clique of selfish elites share the national cake among themselves while them – who are tantalised as masters – will not even sniff the pleasant smell of the crumbs. I rest my case!

“Muthandiza olemera kale pamene osauka akuona” –Billy Kaunda

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22 thoughts on “Gwanda Chakuamba again! Bingu must be turning in his grave”

  1. Umphawi says:

    Adyele a ngulu mbuya, umphawi wa vuta pa Malawi, man got to do what he has to do

  2. wajompha says:

    Gwanda is a good friend of me and I respect him as a brother but the decision of come back is not healthy for him looking at his age , think twice Mbuya

  3. Savimbi hussein says:

    Mbuya watopa ndikudya mphenembe..wangoti eee kadafa katalawa..adyere angulu mbuya jiii

  4. chipie says:

    Shaaa mbuya

  5. If this is the way we can take our government as something that can move pple form there poverty .Late God punish this pple

  6. Mzozodo says:

    Dancun Chiyembekeza, if you think you area better columnist, go ahead and you will be allotted some space in these journals coz your articles will ooze quality, otherwise shut the fuck up

  7. Mzozodo says:

    Santana, do you really comprehend the least required attributes for one to be a spokes person? not only for a political party, even any grouping?

  8. mlomwe says:

    aaaaaa osagofa kodi? mutani ana alowepo

  9. ayeye says:

    mwakula a chakwamba

  10. zako says:

    welcome back Akwenu ife timakunyadira pa unduna umenewu God bless you and I am 100% sure that you will perform best than before.

  11. Bololo says:

    Poverty in Malawi is self made. Malawians had a chance to change leadership for better in 2014 but chose otherwise. I dont know if Chakwera would be what he looks to be (a good leader) but he had better attributes of a leader and was less corrupted in the mind than all other candidates that time, even now. I have always known that APM has nothing to offer to Malawians from way back. I knew the economy would suffer most during his leadership with no hope to salvage. Unfortunately, this is democracy; the majority (whether mbuli, stupid or silly) rules.

    Hate it or not, at least in Malawian context its true that ‘a poor person is a mad person’ you just cant trust his/her thinking.

  12. SANTANA says:

    I knew that the coming of Kaliati to the information ministry will cause dysentery to some other quarters of reporters. Who does not know the woman is a no nonsense? It is not only this reporter who is shivering. Even politicians in big parties are doing the same. Who could not take Kaliati as a spokesperson if she were in their party? If the lady leaves the DPP today for any other party definitely that party will give Kaliati this post. Do not cheat us. As for Gwanda it is true that politically he is finished but the good number of supporters which the DPP already have in the Lower States plus that of Mbuya will act as a barrier to all other parties. Which party can boast having supporters in the Lower Shire apart from DPP? Let us face the truth, gentlemen. Gwanda is still respected there and joining DPP is just like doing what people there already want.

  13. Truth says:

    I am not surprised that Peter Mutharika is embracing people such as Gwanda Chakuamba, who in 1973 led the savage beating of chiefs at the MCP Convention. After promising Malawians during the campaign for the 2014 presidential election that he will uplift their lives Peter Mutharika has delivered the worst economic performance since he became president in May 2014. The Kwacha has sunk to record levels, inflation and interest rates at 24% and over 40% respectively are the highest since 1964. And for the first time since 1964 the price of a 50 kilogram bag of maize went beyond K12000. Most Malawians are shocked that Peter Mutharika did not condemn the panga welding thugs who attacked people at the MCP-PP rally in Mzuzu. That is why he accepts people such as Chakuamba.

  14. smoko boy says:

    Hedeee.. Uluuuu!!

  15. Dancun Chiyembekeza says:

    WITH DUE RESPECT TO MR. CHIUMIA AND OTHER MALAWIAN COLUMNISTS ie THE KASAKULAS, ZELEZA MANDAS, MUNTHALIS, LIGOMEKA (THE NATION) AND OTHERS IN YOUR LEAGUE, PLEASE RELOCATE TO ‘KID CORNERS’ IN YOUR RESPECTIVE PUBLICATIONS ( A NATION ASK CARTOONIST DOBADOBA TO DO THE SAME). PLEASE GIVE US ‘NEWS’ FOR ONCE AND NOT THESE CORRIDOR OR BUS DEPOT DISCUSSIONS.
    PRINT MEDIA ARE THE WORST PERFORMERS, you’ve more than 10 essays on one topic and two sports news plus maybe three political stories with the rest (probably 95%) of the paper covered with adverts!!
    Talk of Radio stations mayi mayi, it’s one story for the whole week!!!

  16. Ze Roberto says:

    I will not comment on the Chakuamba section of the article because in all fairness he is a bygone. In fact Malawi politics becomes more adulterated at the mention of Chakuamba name.
    But here is one interesting twist of the article. Thom, you seem to shower praise on Allan Chiyembekeza as the Bunda qualified, honest and most qualified. Well, while we all appreciate that Chiyembekeza earned his accolades, I don’t think that has translated well with him being in charge of the ministry that has left Malawians sleeping on empty stomachs and spending nights at ADMARC depots in search for food. It is against this sort of praise of Chiyembekeza that I find your analysis of Goodall as minister of finance very unfair. In my view, Chiyembekeza and Goodall have both not served Malawians well as ministers. In other words, whether Chiyembekeza is humble or most qualified the performance of the ministry of agriculture has been disastrous the same way the ministry of finance. I therefore wonder as to why the heads of the respective ministries are measured using different yardsticks. May be you can shed more light on your analysis Thom.

  17. Penya says:

    It is sad that 250 people at MSB are losing their jobs as the entity has by statute to be absorbed by the buyer commercial bank (a commercial bank cannot operate another one). But then, compare that with what a total collapse of the MSB would have pulled down with it. Their loss and the nation’s marginal loss are sacred sacrifices making up for the dirty deals that covered the defaulting debtors whose collateral assets are sacred. Life has never been fair: your pain, the nation’s pains all because of fraudulent and negligent lending and administration of debt recovery. Living martyrs!

  18. Nchanga wa nchenga says:

    Mtima suvala sanza. Today’s reallity: Big house but small family.. More education, degrees & masters but less common sence….. Advanced medicine but poor health…. High income but less peace of mind…. Lots of human beings but less humanity.

  19. Malawian says:

    NOSENSE

  20. Kingsley Jika says:

    This is fine writing. It brings pride to see our own people write this good.

  21. Greencardless Malawian says:

    I UNDERSTAND PITALA. HE KNOWS THAT HE IS LOOSING SUPPORT EVEN FROM THE SOUTH SLOWLY. GETTING CHAKWAMBA INTO DPP WILL DEFINATELY HELP CHAKWAMBA VOTES TO HIS PARTY. CHAKWAMBA HAS BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE AND HE HAS PPL THAT ARE LOYAL TI HIM AND RESPECT HIM FOR WHATEVER REASON. THEY ARE THE PPL WHOM PITALA IS LOOKING AT NOT CHAKWAMBA OR HIS INSULTS TO HIS OLDER BROTHER.

  22. ZIMENEZO NDIYE ZAUCHITSIRU GWNDANSO WACHANI ?WANGOSAUKA AMENEYO ,WANGOTOPA NDIKUMWA KACHASO AKUFUNA APEZE NJIRA ZOPEZELA NDALAMA ZOMWELA CHILL. MAKAPE A DPP

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