Ntata on MCP intolerance, its significance and promise for Malawi political future

Early this week, I questioned the relevance of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s political rallies in the current political environment, especially with regard to the challenges facing the nation. I asserted that Chakwera was misguided in insisting on political rallies that simply massage the MCP ego instead of sharing the MCP political vision for Malawi.

Chakwera flanked by MCP members

Chakwera flanked by MCP members

As leader of opposition and president for a party that considers itself a government in waiting, I observed, he needs to be enunciating his visions and policies for a better Malawi, if he has any. I wondered what MCP as a party makes of the fact that each time they go to the south, the attendance at their party’s rallies resemble the funeral of a homeless person.

For these comments, I got personally attacked and castigated, and many MCP followers quickly declared- even without considering what I had said- that I am blind and stupid. I noted in the comments coming from the MCP social media army a dangerous spirit of political intolerance.

I am convinced that this MCP intolerance, a historical stain on the MCP as a party, is a more important subject to discuss than Chakwera’s misguidedness and direction-less leadership.

After hearing one MCP die-hard fan accuse me of being a frustrated man; that I am only making these observations because I was expecting Chakwera to give me a position in the MCP, I have decided that the levels of blind loyalty and political intolerance in MCP are indeed reaching unsafe levels. I must therefore, as a matter of serious urgency, discuss this in this article. I shall deal with Chakwera’s misguided leadership and his unfitness for leading Malawi in a future article.

From a cloud of academic witnesses,my own experience in political governance and from following political thought around the world, it is clear to me that ideology is the source of all organized activity; that there is no possibility of organized social activity without an internalized morality or ideology to legitimatise it.

Indeed, ideology is supposed to be the transcendent phenomenon of everyday life, not as the causal or motivating factor in social activity, but as the link between organized mental activity and the organized social world. Philosophically, ideology serves to legitimate realistic social activity, focus heterogeneous cognitive, moral, and wishful ambitions on the completion of social tasks, and define the range of appropriate behaviours in terms of those tasks. Ideology is the most important variable in the explanation of social stability and social change.


Considering this, the question bothering me is this: why then does the MCP behave and conduct their party as a religion or a church rather than an ideological grouping for socio-political change?


I am genuinely concerned. Any criticism of the MCP is met not with ideological responses, but only with intolerance befitting criticism of religious belief and doctrine. Critics are denigrated, disparaged and vilified, and loyalists everywhere try to whip up the nation not to consider the relevance of the issues presented, but to consider only their Unity, Loyalty Obedience and Discipline to MCP.This is nothing but a sure sign that MCP has failed to make any real political progress from the its dark history of intolerance and prejudice. In the pre-multiparty democracy years, MCP had no desire to change its ideology.

Instead, MCP relied on intimidation of critics, politics of fear, and incitement of hatred of critics when their party and its activities were challenged. I believe it is fair to say that the biggest political intolerance in Malawi was Malawi Congress Party’s one party state. The very imposition of one minority party and race group over the majority – its interests, will, dominance and outlook – could only be accomplished through fear and intimidation and severe political intolerance.

What should be cause for alarm for every Malawian is that this same MCP attitude is being exhibited now, 20 years after it was overthrown for this very reason. While as we would have expected that after 20 years of being in opposition, MCP would have learned the bitter lesson and this political intolerance in MCP would no longer exist; and that MCP would be a Party with an ideology and not a religion, this has not been the case.

Much as the multiparty movement of the 90s fought furiously against it, intolerance, it seems, is so ingrained in the MCP political DNA in many negative ways, requiring that we do not take it for granted that democracy on its own, by its mere establishment has transformed the MCP into a party that can rule the country with equality and equity.

In the eagerness of MCP supporters to attack anyone who dares to voice an opinion not too flattering to the MCP leadership, we see a party failing to mature into the current democratic dispensation; a party simply tolerating the multipartyism of the times because it has no choice, and a party which, as soon as it is given the reigns of power, will descend again into the dark roads of intolerance, bigotry, narrow-mindedness and levels of patronage worse than those that are even now already ravaging the nation.

This is the inevitable MCP DNA, which, it seems to me, it cannot shed or escape. As a watchman on the walls of Zion, I consider it my duty to remind Malawians that maturity in democracy means tolerance of opposing views. It means following political ideology, not worshipping a leader and picking up arms against anyone who observes deficiencies in him. Fanaticism and blind loyalty are dangerous in a multiparty democracy.

MCP’s failure to adapt to prevailing political thought is seen in the way its former leader, John Tembo, manipulated the MCP church like system to usher in Dr Chakwera into the leadership position, and in the dictatorial ways in which Dr Chakwera has been running the MCP. A case in point is that there is a case in court about DR Chakwera flouting MCP’s constitutional provisions in the making of some appointments.

The kind of intolerance celebrated in the MCP is dangerous for the future of Malawian democracy and our posterity as a nation. The question Malawians must pursue is whether we can really trust Malawi to the leadership of a party leader who flouts his own party’s constitution, or let people who defend such a leader be taken seriously as having the interests of defending the Malawian constitution in their minds.


If Chakwera flouts the country’s constitution, MCP supporters will blindly support and cheer just like they are doing now as he wantonly flouts the MCP constitution. MCP is a religion, and not a political party. This is not simply because Chakwera as a former Reverend tries to run the party as a church, but because of the blind loyalty system that forms its structure, and especially because of the intolerance ingrained in it.

Not until this party begins to exhibit signs of having a political ideology and not simply operating under some kind of secret society loyalty to leader and fellow members can Malawians truly believe that it is ready to step up to lead the country.

I would like to appeal to all Malawians, especially those that worship at the MCP altar, to consider my article with a sober mind. I do not have any personal hatred against anyone in MCP, or any politician for that matter. I just love Malawi more. Perhaps a true change in the MCP will come with a change of leadership. I maintain that MCP needs to be led by someone younger, innovative and more open-minded- someone with a mind-set devoid of the old, intolerant MCP.

I would propose that anyone whose mind is polluted by the old one party totalitarianism of MCP thinking is unfit to change the MCP from a religion to a political party that those who love Malawi can welcome with open arms as a party with the promise of bringing progress and prosperity to the country.

Indeed for Malawi to move forward, the old, dictatorial, intolerant and totalitarian minds of the Chakweras, the Chapondas and the Mutharikas must not cling to power, but pass on the baton toa younger generation of Malawians that think progressively and inclusively.

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Ed crom
What you have written is very true; the difference is that it applies to: ALL POLITICAL PARTIES in the country. All cannot stand being critised; do not have any tangible ideology beyond having ACCESS to the State Coffers and declaring them EMPTY at time of THEIR accession, but SILENT at time of their eggress; do not carry forward Developmental Initiatives from PREVIOUS Administrations to completion, preferring to re-invent the wheel; do not critically PRIORITISE the PRODUCTIVE sectors in the initial 2 years of their tenure, being too busy SETTING-UP Govt. by appointing POLITICAL CRONIES of course and raising SITTING PERKS… Read more »

A Ntata ngati mumakonda dziko lanu tatiuzeni zinthu ziwili zimemene munachitapo kusonyeza kuti mumakonda dziko lanu kupatula kunyoza atsogoleri a zipani? if you think you are wiser why are you not forming your own party and contest in 2019?

The behavior demonstrated by what Ntata calls MCP die-hards is no different from that of the DPP cadres a syndicate which he himself once belonged. MCP is a party with an ideology that is deep rooted in the blood stream of those who are looking for better good old days. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Looking at what Ntata and his DPP syndicate brought to us, I would not have the enfrontery to accuse MCP of intolerance. Maybe Mr Ntata can explain why DPP killed Chasowa. Was not it not because of intolerance? Why were people slaughtered in… Read more »
Winston Msowoya
Logically,in Africa if the Party had been in power for so long,to recapture peoples’ attention and affection is as rigid as the Gibralter rock.It is really a visionless for the former brutal MCP to cogitate that it will be voted into power in the next General Elections.History tells us that any previous political Party especially those with dirty blood in their hands,are by far resented by the voters who happen to be the youthfuls.Sometimes,not all of the old parties are neglected because of their past corrupt and brutal system ,but because people are eager to vote for novel notions and… Read more »

Winston, TANU was not ditched because of its longevity in Tanzania. After all it was for mainland, Tanganyika. It was ditched because it merged with Afro Shiraz party of Zanzibar to form Chama cha Mapinduzi ( the revolution party), the current ruling party for the whole of Tanzania.

Fellow galatians tabachitani ma comment apa. Bwanji mwangokhala duuu ngati akukumetani? Pajatu timakuuzani kuti chilungamo chimapweteka koma lero Ntata wanena zoona. Chipani kungochisiya pa Zodiak ndi pa Nyasatimes basi. Choncho muyea DPP mungaigwedeze? Inu ma plan 1000+ koma onse mmadzi, coup plot mkati ndikupitanso kwa timilungu ku Nigeria mkati koma chitsulo chanjanje APM chili gwaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Ati kuyesa kusonkhanitsa tizipani topanda mifunda koma kumangokhapana nokhanokha. Kuyesa kunamizira njala ndikumtuma Mayaya kuti ayende koma anthu kungoti ziiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Koma wina 2018 adzakomoka DPP ikadzayamba campaign. Pakali pano siinayambetu campaign koma imangoyankha apo ndi apo ntudzu umene agalatiya inu mukuchita ndi msogo wanu Judasiyo.… Read more »

Nkhani yeniyeni ndi yoti APM akazamaliza kulamula dzikoli pakuyenera kuzabwera mtsogoleri wachinyamata monga mukuziwa amayi tawayesa azigogo tawayesa wasala ndi nyamata woti azapitilize chitukuko nkhani za ndale zizakhale za make zana


Ntata is nothing but an attention seeker. Unabadwa wanzeru koma unaziononga muja unathawa maliro a Bingu after you successfuly misguided him on legal affairs. You are a great enemy to this country.


Ntata ndi rastatu uyu wasuta fodya wamkulu, anathawa Bingu atamwalira

Aishoshe aidziwe

For once Allan wawecheta boo. I have my friends, MCP die-hards, learned but they never recognise that MCP is heading to the grave. I have been telling them that in the south when you say Kwaachaaa, People run away. What they know is that MCP = Nyakula. Anthu amene MCP idzachita attract kuMwera ndi amene enafe timakhala nawo pa bridal-shower.

It’s now clear that MCP is not a party but a religion, the way people support a team, say, Arsenal or Man U despite losing games. Kwaaachaaaa lero?

ndi ineyo

musatinyase ndi izi ngati muli okonda dziko lanu munathawa mutanvala kachipewa bwanji popeza amene sanalakwe sanyumwa khathu biiiiii Allan nde kuti chani za nziiiiii midnight six indeed.

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