Last Saturday March 29th 2014m Malawians witnessed the spectacular launch of the Peoples’ Party campaign at Civo Stadium where the function lived up to its silver-bullet billing of the best ever staged Campaign Launch in Malawi’s recent history by a political party.
This campaign launch will always be regarded as an important moment in Dr. Joyce Banda’s political career, by assisting shape her approval among the majority 85% of the of the population residing in remote areas. Her appearance at Civo Stadium and consequent media reportage of it propelled Dr. Joyce Banda ahead of her grouchy and sulking chauvinistic contenders for the Presidency.
While the Peoples’ Party strategy and messaging is up to scratch; the thesis of the campaign like all classic ones is tied to personal beliefs of President Joyce Banda, of transforming the lives of poor Malawians by creating a middle class which will reduce the prevailing abject poverty in this country; which was worsened by the defunct DPP Government during its eight year tenure of wanton looting of government finances and rule of law of the jungle.
It is equally, heartening to know that early in the campaign, President Banda has had very frank discussions with her campaign team about her transformative agenda and how to market it. Gone is the idea that you can hawk a Presidential Candidate like Manyokola Cassava, just as Dr. Bakili Muluzi did with the hard to sell, penny pinching and pound happy; inarticulate late Bingu Webster Ryson Thom Mutharika.
A source of fear though for the DPP and MCP in this campaign season is Dr. Joyce Banda’s tight grip on the Eastern and the Southern Provinces; where the two parties have been left scrounging for crumbs. Dr. Joyce Banda’s chances have been boosted by her popularity in the Northern and Central Provinces, and her choice of the intellectually elegant Sosten Gwengwe as her running-mate which political pundits and opposition plaudits have described as a masterstroke.
This strategy has dampened a major malicious strategy of the MCP and DPP campaigns which was poorly designed to paint the Peoples’ Party as a one region, Jet-Gate and Cash-gate party. Additionally, Gwengwe’s prior sterling political career in the MCP; quite contrary; to Messrs. Chakwera, Chilima and Mutharika, has done quite a lot to remove the misplaced criticism Dr. Joyce Banda had been receiving from certain ignorant quarters.
Suffice to say that the Peoples’ Party campaign launch was no gimmick and nobody will ever match the pomp and flair, class and verve it radiated. In Harlem Globetrotters vogue, the Peoples’ Party, unleashed its message to match the media drenched atmosphere in which news, both twisted and accurate sentiments; and wild political showbiz surround us 24/7.
From the talk on the street, and other public places, the huge strategic campaigning that has been unleashed by the Peoples Party has already shaken the other parties to their foundations with a very well-coordinated message and calls for the party faithful to practice civilized politics and not the axe wielding DPP sponsored and self-inflicted madness we saw at Goliati.
So far, the crowd pulling campaign rallies that the President is conducting are delivering the message with surgical accuracy, masterful delivery of content and style. The rallies remain the central point where the Peoples’ Party President and her running mate, have complete control over their personalities and public images. The president is using to full effect; all the tools of political carpentry real time; so that the mammoth crowds that are following her and her running mate are left in a google-moogle mode.
While some misinformed candidates are banking on poorly coordinated and parochial Radio debates; public brawls and sheer fear mongering; to prop up their plunging popularity ratings, Dr. Joyce Banda is prompting warm responses from her followers by raising questions about the inconsistencies of character and statements in the other Presidential candidates through her philanthropic deeds; and well-articulated messages at her campaign rallies.
It is indisputable that, Dr. Joyce Banda’s personal allure coupled with an impressive Presidential Campaign Committee is teeing her up for victory on May 20 2014. That this is accurate and right on the money is exemplified by the fact that on one hand her campaign organization has assumed an operative balance of a relaxed attitude with clear goalmouth definitions, which is allowing for controlled originality while on the other she is taking advantage of the key glaring bloopers by the MCP-DPP Campaigns.
- The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Nyasa Times. Contributors are invited to write on opinion columns on any topical subject.