A political scientist from the University of Malawi has branded some senior members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who have declared that President Peter Mutharika will represent the party during the 2019 Tripartite Elections by all means necessary, saying that’s undemocratic tendencies.
DPP secretary general Greselder Jeffrey, party vice-president for the North Goodall Gondwe, Northern Region governor Kenneth Sanga and Transport Minister Jappie Mhango said on Saturday during a rally at Livingstonia in Rumphi that Mutharika will lead DPP in the 2019 polls and convention will rubber stamp the candidacy.
Ernest Thindwa, who teaches political science at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, has accused the DPP gurus of being dictatorial.
“So this is democracy?” wondered Thindwa.
He told Times Radio on Monday that democracy entails healthy competition in parties including the presidency.
”Declaring that whether one likes it or not Mutharika will be the presidential candidate without allowing competition is undemocratic. DPP should realism that we are in democracy,” Thindwa told Times Radio.
He said for DPP senior members ,to say they already have a presidential candidate in Mutharika is “unfortunate.”
”We need to have democracy in the party, if there is no democracy in the party, you can be assured that even at national level, there will be no democracy.
“If DPP claims to be a democratic party, they should provide for some democratic space where each and every position will be subject for contestation. Therefore, for some members to say they already have a candidate, is undemocratic and should not be tolerated,” he said.
Thindwa further argued that those endorsing Mutharika should be ashamed of themselves.
He added in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper on Monday : “They must be ashamed of themselves because this is dictatorship. There are some forces that still want to be democratic and they would want to impose their will on the majority which is unfortunate. This should be condemned in strongest terms.
“These are people who benefit from the status quo and any change in the status quo, they see their interests being threatened. They will do all they can to protect their interests. It is not that they love Mutharika, but they just want to protect themselves.”
On her part, Mzuzu-based analyst Emily Mkamanga warned that failure to open up the system could be a recipe for chaos.
“If they will not allow people to compete for the presidency, that will be the end of DPP. There will be a lot of noise, chaos, and some may even get injunctions stopping the whole process. Let the party open up, and people should compete.
“Mutharika himself must stand up and be man enough to face anyone who wants the presidency,” she said.
Former first lady Callitsa Mutharika has said she has no problem with President Peter Mutharika, who is her in-law, but said he is being surrounded by Zilombo [beasts of prey] who are taining the image of his administration, hence calling for a correction of a state that is careering off the cliff.
Callista, the widow of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) founding president Bingu wa Mutharika, has been granting interview to one radio after another since her open support for Vice-President Saulos Chilima to become presidential candidate for the 2019 elections, in a WhatsApp comment on former legislators’ forum.
She said the Malawi leader has been surrounded by beasts of prey who are messing up his administration.
“They [beasts of prey ] are everywhere, at State House, in the DPP, everywhere. That’s what has made him change. This man was never like this – he was a good man,” said the former first lady.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :