Analyst tips Chakwera on dialogue with Msowoya: ‘MCP should clear  the cobwebs’

A local social-political commentator has advised the president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to seriously consider engaging his party’s Vice President Richard Msowoya on matters relating to 2019 candidature, arguing that the recent developments relating to the joining of Sidik Mia and also Msowoya’s recent public pronouncements in Mzimba if not handled well have the potential to divide the country’s oldest party and main opposition.

Chakwera and Msowoya (L): Where is Kamuzu’s contact and dialogue?

Speaking to Nyasa Times, analyst Mankhumbo Munthali, who is also the National Secretary of the Ethics, Peace and Justice Commission (EPJC) of Evangelical Association of Malawi,  said if the Msowoya-Mia saga is not handled maturely it has the potential to divide MCP a scenario that may prove suicidal in the 2019 elections.

“It is an open secret that both Sidik Mia and Richard Msowoya have not hidden their aspirations to be Chakwera’s number two in the forthcoming elections. And in fact as a matter of a democratic principle there is nothing wrong for either of them to aspire for such a position. This is good for intra-party democracy. However, the recent developments relating to these two aspirants with the latest being the public pronouncements made during the Mzimba rally by Msowoya franked by Jesse Kabwira and Gustav Kaliwo seem to suggest that the issue if not handled maturely and the urgency it deserves has the potential to divide the party a scenario that may prove suicidal for the party in 2019 elections,” said Munthali.

According to Munthali, the best option for now is for MCP leader Chakwera to engage his deputy on the matter as a matter of urgency rather than avoiding each other as observed in the recent public rallies.

“I think it is important for the MCP leader Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to constructively engage with his party’s Vice president Msowoya on the matter as soon as possible [prior to the party’s next convention] in the best interest of the party.

“In fact, this is not the first time we have seen this scenario in Malawi. Prior to 2009 elections Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Bingu wa Mutharika when faced with a dilemma to choose from Chimunthu Banda, Goodwell Gondwe, Joyce Banda, and Khumbo Kachali used contact and dialogue with the big four to convince them about his intentions to pick Joyce Banda – a decision he thought was in the best interest of the prospects of the party in the election. This tactic worked as Chimunthu, Goodwell and Kachali despite being left out, supported fully the candidature of Bingu and Banda.

“So instead of avoiding each other, Chakwera can borrow a leaf from Bingu, and initiate such a dialogue not only with Msowoya but also with all aspiring runningmates in the party including Mia and also all party heavyweights prior to the next convention,” advised Munthali.

Munthali also cautioned MCP against rushing into conclusions that Msowoya’s harbouring of runningmate ambitions might be influenced by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a way of dividing the MCP.

“By virtue of being its fierce political rival, DPP has and will always have interest in what happens in Malawi Congress Party. This is not strange in politics, as it also happens elsewhere in the world. While not completely downplaying the DPP factor in the whole saga based on some precedence in our political history, I am of the view that this may largely have nothing to do with DPP’s interference but rather a mere expression of Msowoya’s personal ambition to the running mate of Chakwera.

“While DPP may be the main beneficiary of the whole circus especially when it results in dividing MCP, Msowoya by virtue of being the Vice president of the party and also Chakwera’s running-mate in the previous election already gives him the confidence to aspire for such, and you cannot blame him, just like Mia, for exercising such a democratic right.”

Adds Munthali:  “Besides, while Msowoya mixing with MCP’s so-called rebels,  Kabwila and Kaliwo at the recent Mzimba rally may one hand seem to be an indication that he has been part and parcel of the so-called ‘rebel group’ to bring down Chakwera’s leadership, I think on the other hand the two [Kabwila and Kaliwo] might have only taken advantage of the current Mia-Msowoya’s saga by using the situation as a critical juncture to justify their recently commonly held position that Chakwera is undemocratic.

“This is further reinforced by the fact that Msowoya has never publicly said he would challenge Chakwera at the next convention as the Presidential candidate but rather wants to be retained as a running-mate in the next election. In other words, the point I am driving here is that instead of merely concluding that the issue is DPP-driven, Chakwera as the leader of the party must rise up and engage with his deputy and others.”

Munthali, pointed out that the recent development is a great test to his leadership style if Malawians are to really take him seriously in the next election.

And in an editorial comment in the leading daily newspaper, The Nation,  the paper urges MCP to resolve the bickering over the convention once and for all by speaking with one voice.

“It is important that MCP clears all the cobwebs if the party is to be taken seriously by the electorate,” the paper said in the comment.

It noted that the infighting is not doing MCP and the country’s democracy any good.

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Citizen weniweni
MCP ngati akufunabe ku opposition TAKE MIA as running mate. In South is stronghold of DPP , How much MIA can work, can not bring much. Please bear in mind MIA and ATUPELE are fighting to share the same “family” Muslims, how many can Mia bring to change in MCP. MIA strength is in TWO districts, how much is the population of the Area? MCP compare the integrity of these TWO gentlemen in case unforeseen circumstances who can be better ? These are some the questions that help the voters to decide. Joyce Banda is out partly because of choosing… Read more »
igama lami

As far as I can remember, choice of running mate is the prerogative of the President. Chakwera should be left to work out a winning formula as he sees it. That is what leaders are about. Msowoya served his time as running mate in 2014, MCP should try someone else. In fact, Msowoya should be thankful to MCP for ushering him into Speaker. what happens hereafter is a different ball-game.

chilungamo chimawawa

From the look of things its clear that DPP and APM are involved in disorganising MCP!!!! If other members of MCP who are paraded on MBC tv dont see this error then they have a big problem. Infact DPP is trying all its level best to destroy MCP. I understand they are busy bribing some members so they can fight against their leaders.


After all, MCP has no landlord unlike these other parties. Everybody can dream and aspire to be anything in this party. Freedom reigns among the four corner stones. Mia and Msowoya will contest at the forthcoming convention and the electorate will decide. Until then, all this bickering is unfounded and childish.

There is no infighting in MCP rather there is a group of pig headed people who want the party to remain stagnant by not bringing vibrant people like Mia within the ranks. What MCP needs is a strategy to win the 2019 elections and not dialogue aimed at appeasing people who dont have political capital. Mr. Analyst also got it wrong to insinuate that the problem is Chakwera not willing to engage Msowiya yet the problem is Msowoya who wants to be runningmate at all cost despite the fact that he will not add value to the votes. We Malawians… Read more »
Bleesed Banda

A legitimate MCP convention is coming soon. Will Msowoya stand unopposed again as it happened in 2013?. Is he afraid of competition? If yes, then he is not fit. If no, let him stay quiet and do the proper ground work systematically without making noise. Otherwise what he has started doing is giving DPP agenda for talking point at political rallies which is detrimental to MCP. Malawi First. One Malawi, One Nation One Vision.

MIA can not be chakweras running mate mudzinva anthu mubweretsa chisokonezonu…..Do you think chakwera or MCP zimangotengaka ndi zilizonse,, Chakwera ngati munthu wamulungu he cant just take Mia while Msowoya is there it will never happen….Mia is good man yes he can do alot in MCP to help malawians.. but mawudindo are already filled. God is about to transform malawi.. people have been crying since KAMUZU left his presidency.. Bingu tried to sort things out … these 2 men we miss understood them ( kamuzu and Bingu).. let msowoya be where he is .. kabwira.. kaliwo these people will hold… Read more »
sakaza ononga

he even struggle to win, in his home area, mr speaker sir we need numbers not ego

Patrick Phiri
It is already abundantly clear that Chakwera promised Mia the runningmate position, believing that by snatching Lower Shire votes from DPP, then MCP will be at an advantage. He forgets that by sidelining Msowoya, MCP will lose the northern vote. Another downside of Chakwera-Mia pair is that Mia has publicly indicated that he is vying for a bigger position than just MP or Minister. That position is, of course, the vice presidency, at least. So, for Mia to change tune that he does not want to grab anybody’s position is to take Malawians for granted. Mia has further indicated that… Read more »

Northerners cannot support Mr Msowoya. Chakwera will just waste his energy by pairing with a weaklings

Nganiza Muthulika

Its True Mia is using his richnes it Will not helpp MCP. Chakwela should use hos head than feelings. Northernrs votes are needed to win for MCP.


This is simplistic thinking

man made

Msowoya is not a factor in the North. Where or which part of the North does Msowoya command big support.
Northerners know that Msowoya is good at using people n once he has attained a position he will abandon u. Even people in his constituency r complaining about his attitude. He rarely visits his constituency.

sakaza ononga

in the north it was PP and DPP won alot votes so its risking but worth taking, Msowoya was tried and its noted that he is not a crowd puller, let try MIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


Sounds like you are a DPP mercenary wanting MCP to lose. Mia will be a running mate come hail or sunshine. This is a country for all of us not christians alone so dont employ the cheap religious divide to derail us. If there was a President in Malawi who ruled without regard to tribal or religious affiliation then that person was Muluzi the muslim.

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