The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has reacted with panic to a marathon of whistle stops ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Director of Elections, Ben Phiri, has been conducting in its stronghold rural areas of central region.
In the past days, Phiri, commonly referred to as “Field Marshal” by party followers, has conducted 18 whistle stop rallies in rural areas of Lilongwe, Dowa and Mchinji districts where he drummed up support for the DPP presidential candidate, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, and aspiring Parliamentary and local government candidates.
Contrary to long-held political beliefs, the rallies have been attracting mammoth crowds despite central region being regarded as the home of MCP.
Reacting to the political shockwaves in its backyard, MCP has since deployed its front line troops to visit all areas Phiri has been to so far in a bid to quench the fire.
A programme released by MCP headquarters and seen by Nyasa Times, the party has unleashed its heavyweights namely Richard Chimwendo Banda, Moses Kunkuyu, Ken Kandodo, Jean Sendeza, Juliana Kaduya, Juliana Lunguzi, Peter Dimba, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Sam Kawale and Kusamba Dzonzi to water down the invasion.
On Saturday the 10 MCP senior officials will be in Richard Chimwendo’s Dowa East constituency at Nalunga school where DPP’s Phiri and Kutsaila got tumultuous welcome from jubilant supporters on Tuesday.
But observers bemoaned MCP’s stance as reactive at a time the party needs to do the opposite.
“I followed Phiri’s rallies in central region, they were well patronized considering the fact that this is MCP stronghold. However, I am shocked with MCP’s response. Why deploying 10 NEC members? This will be interpreted by DPP as a sign of fear. They have overreacted,”remarked Albert Chiutsi.
Meanwhile, after causing havoc in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Dowa rural, Phiri is heading to Kasungu central on Saturday and Champhira in Mzimba South before visiting all constituencies in Rumphi, Mzimba, Karonga, Chitipa and Nkhatabay.
Speaking to Nyasa Times after Lilongwe Mpenu rally, Phiri said his goal is to promote the Mutharika brand in all the 193 constituencies.
He further added that Prof. Peter Mutharika will go down in history as only President who inherited an economy whose inflation was at staggering 36 per cent and managed to reduce it to 7.9 per cent within five years.
Phiri further said Malawians will remember APM as only leader who brought state-of-the-art dual carriage roads in all the three cities of Malawi.
“These are unprecedented developments in the history of Malawi. Apart from that, he is the only President to have not arrested his predecessor despite all the evidence of Cashgate pointing to Dr. Joyce Banda.
APM is not a vengeance politician. If truth is to be told he has tried his best hence deserves second term of office,” said Phiri.
After 2014 elections, Phiri continued serving Mutharika as close aide until 2016 when he threw in the towel citing personal reasons.
His re-emergence on the political scene has excited many party supporters who believe he has been the missing link between the party and its grass root supporters and that he has enough political stamina to contribute to the DPP’s collective effort of giving President Mutharika second term of office.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :