The political weather looks pretty dark for President Peter Mutharika and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
A day before the upholding of the February 2 Constitutional Court ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal, the President was ruthlessly booed and mercilessly stoned in Ndirande—quite an embarrassing encounter that speaks a wane in his popularity.
Apart from upholding that the President was unduly elected and an order for fresh elections, as if putting a nail on the coffin, the Supreme Court even outlawed new entrants to vote in the coming fresh elections.
The move, according to analysts, has dealt President Mutharika and the DPP a big blow as, unconfirmed reports indicate, the party has been busy registering as many as it can, even minors, to boost their retain of office.
Certainly, as already pointed out, things appear to be falling apart for President Mutharika and the DPP; and their centre, as Chinua Achebe wrote, is failing to hold.
However, as I argue, Malawians should not make a mistake here.
The political weather might look dark for DPP today but, if you take a clear look, this is not the worst political moment for President Mutharika and the DPP to live through.
Since it’s accidental formation in 2006, the DPP has been through a series of deep political trials but none comes close as the worst ever than the death of former President Bingu Wa Mutharika in 2012.
Bingu’s death while in office was a political disaster that, in a day, watered down DPP from a ruling to the opposition benches.
That was DPP’s worst political moment and, if this party was as brittle as some think, we couldn’t have been talking of DPP today.
How APM took up the leadership mantle and re-energized the belief people had in DPP to the point of taking back power from Joyce Banda, is a political story that needs to be patiently and strategically studied for it reveals the stubborn DNA of this party.
For DPP, against all its political notoriety, is a stubborn party, shrewd at strategy and ruthless at implementation. They don’t play.
The secret behind DPP’s triumph in affliction, it’s tenacity, rests mostly in how the party quickly moves on when bruised.
When UDF, in its apparent move to micromanage government in 2006, Bingu quickly moved on, forming his own party with six MPs and lobbying more, through honest leadership, to stand with him.
When he died in 2012, APM—bruised and bleeding, soldiered on; he brought the party together, campaigned across the country with a message of hope and managed to take back power.
After ConCourt ruling, despite the appeals which to me sounded more like buying time and fooling the enemy, DPP already hit the ground, calling for people to register and vote for them.
In all this, there is one attribute that political parties, especially opposition parties, need to learn from DPP: they move on quickly, both in sadness and goodness.
Opposition parties, especially MCP and UTM, need not sit on the laurels, investing more in Christmas parties after winning the court battles.
The court battles are over. It is on the ground where the next fight is and, sorry to say, DPP is a master of this art. Opposition must up their game.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :