Chakwera’s visible lack of leadership in Malawi Congress Party

Blues Orators, you might have guessed that this week our discourse will focus on Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the mother and oldest of all political parties in Malawi, which has lately been behaving like a spoiled brat and the least constitutional of all political parties in the land.

Before I get into the nitty-gritties let me draw a timeline of recent developments in MCP, as duly captured and honestly reported upon by the ever gallant media.

• December 1, 2017: MCP President Dr Lazarus Chakwera met the party’s five strong elected Politburo comprising the convention elected Deputy Presidents Richard Msowoya and McDonald Lombola, convention-elected Deputy Secretary General Chatonda Kaunda, Treasurer General Tony Kandiero and Secretary General Chris Daza’s replacement – Gustave Kaliwo.

• December 2, 2017: This high-level politburo meeting was followed by a presser, where Chakwera decreed a return to constitutionalism. A tongue-in-cheek communique, co-signed by Chakwera and Kaliwo, was issued.

• December 9, 2017: Chakwera conducted a unity rally in Mzuzu. With him were Msowoya, Kaliwo, Chatonda and even new catch Mia.

• December 10, 2017: Another rally up north. Politburo minus Kaliwo.

• December 29, 2017: Jessie Kabwila, apparently resuming her role as MCP Publicity Secretary, following the burying of the hatchet, held a press conference in Lilongwe to address, on MCP’s behalf, what she termed ‘some of the emerging issues of national concern’. This did not end well.

Rather this did not go down well with the functionary who had hijacked her office during the time she was in the wilderness.

This minor glitch was apparently caused by the fact that Chakwera had not communicated to his lieutenants what a return to constitutionality meant and implied.

This being easy to fix, the elected five met again to smooth things over.

A management meeting of the National Executive Committee meeting was duly agreed upon but with one contentious question: who would be invited?

With contact and dialogue temporarily re-adopted as MCP’s preferred means of conflict resolution; the agreement – in as far as Msowoya, Kaliwo, Kandiero and Chatonda are concerned – was that invitees to this management meeting would be original directors co-opted into the Nec as per the August 2013 convention resolution.

Up to this point, the whole unity idea assuming the prospect of being the best to transpire thing since the discovery of sliced bread.

You know what? It was too good to be true.

It turned out that one faction wanted some ‘strangers’ i.e. Nec members arbitrarily appointed thereto without recourse to the MCP supreme body, the convention, to join the fray.

The outcome was pandemonium, and the meeting was postponed pending Chakwera re-mapping the way forward with his newly reunited Politburo which was to reschedule the meeting and issue fresh invitations, co-signed – as should be by Chakwera and Kaliwo.

On January 13, 2018 the extended Nec met, following invitations signed only by Chakwera. Its agenda seemed to crystal clear: to end the unity and constitutionalism ‘nonsense’.

On January 14, 2018 social media became awash with amateurish propaganda alleging that Msowoya, Kaliwo and others had met to form a new party.

Come January 15, 2018 the spectre of the dreaded MCP Youth Wing rose again. They met at MCP headquarters and in the pre-1992 youth league style roundly castigated the party’s elected politburo. This was monitored by both ZBS and Times Tv.

Not to be outdone, on January 16 2018, MCP MPs met to complete the circus. Despite dissent from at least 18 parliamentarians, according to social media posts of some parliamentarians, the MPs demanded the immediate suspension of SG, a call to the Nec to ratify the firing of Chakwera’s elected politburo from the party, call for a convention by March 26.

The MPs (with the disagreement of 18) endorsed Sidik Mia as the party’s Deputy President (the prerogative of a party convention) and running mate (Chakwera’s privilege).

To round-off the theatre, the MPs ratified Chakwera to be the ONLY Presidential candidate at the party convention, something that even Vladimir Putin stopped doing in Russia.

At least Malawi’s own political engineer had Moses Dossi compete against the economic engineer.

From all this and subsequent developments, a few things are clear.

Firstly, that the current MCP, I can say without fear of contradiction, has all the weaknesses, dictatorial tendencies and with the worst undemocratic MPs and youths than the pre-referendum MCP without possessing any of the redeeming factors namely vision, efficiency and pragmatism of Dr Kamuzu Banda’s MCP.

Secondly, and following from the above, it follows that in its current disunited form and with its primitive practices, MCP cannot win the 2019 election because although its main rival the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is bad; MCP is failing to demonstrate that it is any different.

Blues’ Orators, before the vicious and foul-mouthed Chakwera MPs and youth leaguers call me a Nkholokolo or ‘otumidwa’– as this is the name they give anyone who tries to reason with their ‘Messiah’ – let us ask ourselves the following questions:

• if MCP can be this vicious to its own elected officials, almost all of them well respected professionals and eminent Malawians – who are just wishing the best for MCP, what will it do – if elected – to members of the opposition? To critical CSO? To Pac? And to us the media?

• If Chakwera can be this intransigent to abide by the 19- page party constitution written in plain English, will he follow and abide by the voluminous supreme law of the land?

• If Chakwera’s MPs and youth leaguers can spew such venom both on and off social media, threatening to deal with anybody with a dissenting view while an opposition party, will they not be more vicious and ruthless than the 2003 UDF’s Young Democrats?

• And, ladies and gentlemen, come to think of it: only Chakwera is right in all these squabbles and not his elected 1st deputy, not his 2nd deputy, neither is his duly appointed Counsel Kaliwo, nor the eminent diplomat and administrator Kandiero, elected Treasurer General at a convention? This is not to mention of Felix Jumbe, Joseph Njobvuyalema, Jessie Kabwila, Chatinkha Chidzanja Nkhoma, and the old district chairpersons who elected Chakwera president at the NRC indaba.

Blues’ Orators, whatever your answers are to the above and many other questions, we can’t afford to brush off the storm in MCP as mere machinations from the ruling DPP.

More so that we are currently paying for the complacency of electing a known non-performing cabinet minister into presidency

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Jon Jon
Guest

Colorful grammar lacking a spine of integrity. Too biased only deaming Chakwera with DPP pimp my ride scenario. Please dude think through your writting skills with perspective where ethics are concerned.

Jameson
Guest

AWATU ALUZA BOMWETAMWETA ASOKONEKERA. FEVER YAWAPWETEKA ZEDI. KOMANSO ADAFULUMIRA KUDYA ZAWENI ALI PA PRESSURE ZEDI AND LOGIC YAYAMBA KUVUTA. KOMA ADEKHE NDIPO AKONZENSO ZINTHU ASANAPITE KU CONVENTION. I T IS A LIE TO BELIEVE THAT AFTER CONVENTION ALL WILL BE ROSES. CHIFUKWA AMENE AKASANKHIDWEWO KU CONVENTION NDI ANTHU NDIPO AMAGANIZANSO MOSIYANA. SITIFUNA TDZAYAMBE KUMVANSO KUTI KWABWERA A NKHOLOKOLO WENA CHIFUKWA CHOLEPHERA KUKONZA ZINTHU. KONZANI PANOPA.

Sitidziwa za Mawa
Guest

Sitidziwa za Mawa.Ndipo odzawina chaka cha mawa ndi MULUNGU yekha basi.Zomwe ife tingachite, ndiko kupemphera ngati ndife opephera.Koma osapephera,asiyeni azitukwana monga momwe angathere.Munthu wanzeru samasiya mulomo koma phanzi.

Mpweya
Guest

This article by Mapwiya Muulupale lacks substance, but from the author’s name, any sensible reader will tell why. One DPP guy wishing to divert people’s attention from a big picture – I mean a big picture from a mountain summit, not an anthill. Compared to others we see around, Chakwera is an exceptionally a good leader at all times. I rate this article a totally biased piece of work.

Bandawe
Guest

Chakwera is inexperienced. Where has Chakwera been since last week when things fell apart? What has he said? Well, John Tembo has just said that in a veiled take of MCP’s crisis. How on earth does he think he can run a party let alone stand as presidential candidate when he can not come in the open to adddress this festering problem. MCP needs to understand that Mia is destroying the party. It is greedy Chakwera who is THE problem not the Kaliwos, Msowoyas, Kabwilas etc.

Martin
Guest
If one could explain the weakness of mcp leadership in plain black and white like the way Muulupale has done; and if Chakwera can’t come and convince us otherwise then there is more trouble coming. Come on people, let us not be the Santanas of this world who just support because they are ignorant, bias, or addicted to dpp, if Chakwera is wrong or failing as explained then we shouldn’t defend him for the sake of it. This country is going down everyday because we Malawians always give a blind eye to wrongs our leaders inflict on us and end-up… Read more »
kanchenga
Guest
Weak minds really pathetic. Mia wants to be VP and he is working towards that goal. Msowaya wants to continue being VP but he is sitted bwi thinking that other people will do things for him. Outright foolishness.No wonder MCP didn’t do well in the north during 2014 elections. Go out Mr Msowoya meet people organise meetings shake the north just as Mia is doing in the south then MCP members will trust you. Not writting letters castigating your president. Its not going to work. Mia has Nsanje Lalanje and a ward in Ndilande to show, you have nothing. No… Read more »
Bandawe
Guest

I totally agree. We as Malawians we are easily misled. Why is it wrong to ask questions about Chakwera’s conduct? This far, Chakwera has shown that he is a dictator – he does not want to engage with anyone. Does it surprise me, NO.

Isa
Guest

The Malawi Congress Party constitution doesn’t recognise the meeting of 5 people who are being referred to as the politibural in your article. Thus this meeting would not come up with anything binding to the party. To this extent all you have written premised on that meeting is null and void.

Mcp boma
Guest

Zopanda nzeru izi

Pension Nenereko
Guest

my only comment is that whatever the article says one conspicuous outcome of what has been happening in MCP is that source of squabbles is on the open – Msowoya not wanting Mia to join MCP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Achimidzimidzi
Guest
I agree with you Mapwiya, it seems MCP has a lot of issues to sort out but a least members of the party question their leader. some parties can not question their leaders. Remember late Hon Chafukira and Hon Tembo? Remember Hon Richard Msowoya said in parliament; ‘Malawians should not praise- worship political leaders in order to hold them accountable.’ Let Chakwera endure. This is not a one party era where people praise nosense MCP as a corporate is actually showing some signs that we see when there is a merger or buyout of companies where staff change positions or… Read more »
revolution
Guest

MCP was found by Orton Chingoli Chirwa and Masauko Chipembere….not Kamuzu Banda….point of correction

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