Political critics are up in arms criticizing President Peter Mutharika for his decision not to groom a successor for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership.
Mutharika, who is in his second and final constitutional five-year term of office told Al Jazeera TV that the DPP should have a democratic process to elect the next leader.
But scholar and social commentator Lyson Sibande says President Mutharika himself was groomed to be the successor.
“Grooming a successor does not mean the person won’t have to go through a convention. Mutharika himself must be the first to understand and appreciate the importance of grooming a successor since that was the only reason DPP survived the death of Bingu and won the 2014 elections from the opposition benches,” says Sibande.
He says principles of democracy must be upheld but it is also important to understand the vulnerability of Malawi’s tender democracy.
“Groom someone else. You don’t have to tell the world that you are grooming so and so, just start positioning the person and everything will fall in its place,” says Sibande.
Davie Mkwamba, also writing on his Facebook wall said former president Bakili Muluzi groomed Bingu wa Mutharika to be the next president despite fierce opposition from the top hierarchy of the United Democratic Front (UDF).
“President Mutharika himself is the indirect beneficiary of this grooming and anointing by Bakili on Bingu,” said Mkwamba.
However, some political analysts say some leaders are naturally emerging in DPP with Agriculture minister Kondwani Nankhumwa being among the frontline possible successors.
Nankhumwa will likely face a challenge at the 2023 party convention from Local government minister Ben Phiri, Justice minister Bright Msaka, former Justice minister Samuel Tembenu, among others.