Crossing the Red Line: Pay back for DPP but MCP should not get too much intoxicated with 5-1 victory

“Arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence. Not a pretty cocktail of personality traits in the best of situations. No sirree. Not a pretty cocktail in an office-mate and not a pretty cocktail in a head of state. In fact, in a leader, it’s a lethal cocktail.”-Graydon Carter-American Journalist

In my last entry I mentioned that President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s approach to the ongoing ‘bloodsucking’ saga, when he decided to side with the said ‘victims’, is a big concern to most of us and in real sense a recipe to further disaster in this country. And indeed on my word and fears, the menace and killings that has come with these ‘bloodsucking’ rumors have now spread to so unexpected areas; even our own Blantyre city where people were expected to be a bit civilized and knowledgeable. As we are talking, in the past days the number of killings of the suspected ‘bloodsuckers’ have now risen with new killings reported in Blantyre and Balaka.

I mentioned that siding with the said ‘victims’ for political reasons will not help solve the problem but rather escalate it further. I will not be surprised that these unfortunate incidents will soon spread even to other regions of the country, and even more innocent people will continue be murdered. All because of the senseless leadership that we have and its henchmen who fail to advise the President when it matters most. All the killings are sad, but the most horrible one happened in Chileka where an innocent man, believed to be epileptic and mentally ill, got lit alive. This was devilish of the highest order. But as already said these sad incidents have to be wholly blamed on our leadership with its bizarre way of thinking and its tendency of putting politics above all else.

That said it is gratifying to note that Malawians are not as foolish as most politicians think. Going by the happenings of October 17, it is clear that Malawians have the same bold brain and will power to decide their own destiny and declare that enough is enough; just as they did in 1993 and 1994 when they mercilessly booted off the then mighty Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The results of the October 17 by-elections is a big lesson not only to the arrogant, senseless, heartless and corrupt leadership in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but also to all politicians in this country even the MCP which at the moment is sailing in the glory of its wins.

For the DPP, it is good always to know when to be arrogant; you have to know when to be hard and you have to know when to be soft. Apparently, it seems the ruling party thought that it could be arrogant and hard all the time and all the way. The ruling party thought that unleashing violence would be a better panacea for it to keep holding to the fortitude of our nation. But, nay Malawians thought otherwise. Yes, we can argue that it is not yet time for celebration in the MCP camp; at the same time we cannot deny the fact that strong signals have been sent, not for an outright MCP victory in 2019, but, that Malawians always have the knack to reclaim their voice when they think mediocrity has gone beyond limits, just like is the case now.

The most interesting punishment for the DPP, out of all the six by-elections was the one in Ndirande. All will agree that Ndirande, since 1994 has never been an area where you would expect the MCP to win any elections, and the MCP win in Ndirande is a strong indication that not all citizens in this country are deaf or blind to the arrogance and insensitivity that has become synonymous with the DPP. For instance, how a sane party could put George Chaponda as one of the leading campaigners in the by-elections yet the man is yet to prove himself worthy a leader following his ‘alleged’ corrupt activities in the purchase of maize from Zambia.

If this is not arrogance, insensitivity and taking Malawians for granted, then what else would be christened as such? Did the DPP really believe that people would vote for it with this Chaponda on the fore of the campaign? All what Chaponda managed in the campaign was reminding the voters how corrupt the DPP is and how desperate the party is to add its numbers in Parliament so that it continues with its corrupt ways and plunder against a weaker opposition.

Malawians who voted in the five out of the six by-elections refused such impunity and arrogance.

Arrogance normally comes in when you are being full of yourself, feeling you are always right, and believing your accomplishments or abilities make you better than other people. However, there are always two faces to arrogance; arrogance that comes out of successes when you are sure that what you are doing is right, and then the arrogance that comes out of failure and frustrations; when you fail to face it and accept your failures. Unfortunately, for the DPP its arrogance is out of its many failures. Most often, people believe arrogance is excessive confidence, but in reality arrogance as the one shown in the DPP is a lack of confidence; arrogance that is bred out of insecurity, and unfortunately that type of arrogance often repels others.

To be honest, unlike the late Bingu Wa Mutharika who developed wings after several remarkable projects and achievements in his first term, his brother Arthur Peter and the current DPP seem to have developed wings prematurely; with nothing to show as their achievement apart from some shoddy works in township roads which develops potholes and cracks just a day after the contractor leaves the site or even before the contractor packs his tools. Tarmac roads that when you drive, you long for the same old dusty roads as the new ones becomes even bumpier and harder to drive that you need an off-road vehicle to comfortably drive on them. I think those who voted on October 17, just like myself, were wondering where the DPP is getting all the confidence to be arrogant in the face of glaring failures in all angles from leadership to development and even in respect of the rule of law.

Now, as the dust begins to settle on these hotly contested by-elections, it is time that, if the DPP has ears to hear and eyes to see, it has to go back on its drawing board and analyze where Malawians feel they are being short changed, and see who is sleeping on the job to the extent that Malawians are now feeling that they are being given a raw deal and think that probably the MCP would be the best alternative. The party has to exorcise itself of all the demons even if it means getting rid of a few individuals including Arthur Peter Mutharika himself. Let the party be honest with itself and do just what is right for it to indeed reclaim its lost glory and mend its battered image. Surely, if the party is to come up with anything worthy showing in 2019 someone has to own this embarrassment and step forward to take full responsibility of this humiliating loss. It does not matter who that could be but what matters is restoring the confidence in the party that is slowly waning.

For the MCP, this victory is not yet a sign that time is here for celebrations. The party should also go back on its drawing board; analyze what made a difference this time around with the 2014 elections. The party should critically look at what was at play this time around for it to even manage an upset in Ndirande while in 2014 it faced a battering even in its own backyard; in most of the central region constituencies including Lilongwe.

The party should no longer look at rigging as the only strategy that the DPP could use to win an election, because, I believe that if the DPP truly does rig, it must have tried such a strategy in these by-elections and miserably failed, as such it would be foolhardy for the ruling party to really count on rigging for it to remain in power after 2019. The MCP should also look critically at how it failed to get a white wash after winning in Ndirande and Nsanje Lalanje only to fail in Mayani, Dedza; this is an important pointer that has to be looked at with a sober mind. In short let the MCP not be blinded and get too much intoxicated with this victory to an extent that the party fails to see its way to 2019.

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Joe M
Guest

Well articulated analysis Mr Hudson Mphande without any bias, keep it up so that as you have put it in your article that let those who have eyes to see let them see and those with ears let them hear. (copied from Joseph Hill aka Culture)

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