A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) functional Review has established at least five main factors that it attributes to the former ruling party’s declining popularity, which resulted in the loss of government power in June 2020.
According to the functional review report that Nyasa Times has seen, it was established that there was growing mistrust between the people and the party; the DPP being perceived as inherently corrupt; decline in the quality of areas and membership; divisions and factions; decline in party discipline; and lack of trust among its members.
“The party members who were met in the review interfaces shared key issues that were not in the DPP of 2005 to 2014, but emerged in the DPP of 2014 on its pace to 2019 and 2020 elections. They felt these are issues that have led to our electoral under performance in 2019 and 2020,” reads the report, which adds that delving much into the issues to thoroughly diagnose the causes of the decline, and to utilise the interfaces as the due process of self-discovery and self-correction, the participants in all regions shared the highlighted factors warranting urgent attention.
The functional review, which was led by DPP Vice President for Eastern Region and MP for Machinga Likwenu, Bright Msaka, established that many people (not members) believe the party backs unpopular people in many avenues and constituencies and it thrives on lies thereby leaving the people’s choice and opt for those liked by the politburo.
“They gave evidence on the rise of independent members of Parliament in areas where we have DPP counsellors and the DPP president was equally popular. Prominent issues for the members were tribalism, employment, corruption, and selfishness of leaders as displayed by the tribalistic tendencies by those in top leadership by prioritising their tribal allegiance more than their nationalistic posture, deployment of anti-DPP cadres into employment opportunities, publicised corruption of leaders with the party doing nothing and the non-sustainable financing of party,” reads the report in part.
On corruption, the report says serious allegations were made against a number of DPP leaders and the element of being perceived as corrupt and arrogant to allegations exposed the party to “regime change agenda”.
The report also highlights a general decline in the quality of membership of the party, saying is although the membership of the DPP is literate, the culture of reading policy documents of the party is not there, because political and ideological clarity is no longer the deciding factor for election to leadership positions and deployment in the DPP.
“Members get introduced to provide, groupings and factions before they understand the politics of the party. This lack of understanding translates into brutality against one another in a phenomenon of being with us or against us. The real DPP Activism is in decline, depriving new members of the training ground. As a result, overall, very few Areas run real campaigns. The structures do not understand their role. Membership to the party structures is equated to being a mere voter; the party has not created political education,” it reads.
The functional review also established that divisions and factions are a reality in the DPP.
“This makes it attractive to attack individuals we perceive to be our enemies. It involves consciously deciding to undermine one another, including the various offices of the party. Although we deny it because we know that it is wrong, we are beginning to put personal interests ahead of the very party we seek to keep.
“We defy the party in substance, because the factions say so. When the CC takes a decision, which directs that only principles must be discussed on the succession question, membership goes ahead and pronounce on their preferred candidates and start more internal politicking than outward focused politics. It is not because members and leadership do not understand, but they are deliberately undermining the party.
“Factions are divisive, destructive and subjective. As long as we put our factions and personal ambitions ahead of the DPP, we are actively destroying it and condemning it to its slow death. In this moment of factionalism, the Political Directorate was supposed to come in with an educative DPP literature on the dangers of factionalism, but even the very NGC is captured and drowned into factionalism,” it reads.
The report says the DPP has lost one of its key defining characteristics, which is ‘trust’.
“We have a party whose members do not trust their own leadership in structures when it comes to finances, material and many resources,” it says.
In conclusion, the report observes that the prospects of the party in its current position are not positive but can be turned around.
It makes the following recommendations: “The objectives of the DPP have tilted with time and events and must be reframed; the structures and existing positions of the party need review and reorientation, redefining and clarifying job descriptions of each position so as to ensure clear division of functions is of great urgency; the party Constitution must be reviewed and recreated to match the time and events to ensure that it is realigned and in tandem with the new purposes, objectives and vision of the Party and the new structure; DPP needs to clarify and decide firmly on its financing sources and sustain its strategies that will put the party on a sustainable financial base; In the wake of emerging organisational issues, DPP must brace for a critical need to have leadership reframed, and decision making to be guided by objective principles upon which the party is founded”.
It is yet to be seen whether or not the party’s leader Peter Mutharika, who is serving his final term, will accept to leave the stage earlier than 2023 when the party is expected to conduct its elective national conference.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :