Things have been happening so fast in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over the past couple of days. The party’s President, Peter Mutharika, was the first respondent in the just ended election case at the Constitutional Court, which he lost together with co-respondent, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). No question Mutharika and DPP took a serious image beating from the court case; they need a serious image cleansing exercise to stand any chance of winning the forthcoming fresh election.
Perhaps as a response to the image fallout, it appears DPP has come up with a plan to deal with the image battering. The strategy was to come out of its hiding and show the people of Malawi (particularly the opposition) that DPP is alive and kicking ass. Not just any ass, but the ass of the five Constitutional Court judges for nullifying the May 2019 tripartite elections and for punching a stinging blow to Mutharika’s political reputation.
The party announced that it was going to hold nation-wide demonstrations to show anger and dissatisfaction over the Constitutional Court judgement despite the fact that it appealed against the nullification to the Supreme Court of Appeal. So far, two demonstrations have already been staged in Blantyre and Zomba where supporters of the party from all walks of life showed anger through dancing and singing songs denigrating the five judges and their judgement. The demonstrations included the presentation of a 10 – point petition to Blantyre City Council Chief Executive Officer, and DC for Zomba District.
Typical of such demonstrations, DPP supporters sung various songs and made negative pronouncements directed at the five Constitutional Court Judges for coming up with a judgement, which they did not like.
Bizarrely, the judges were accused of taking bribes from the opposition and for being related to some opposition figures. They were comprehensively insulted using every salvo from the encyclopedia of insults covering their sons, daughters; fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers.
However, that is neither here nor there. The real issue is that among the people who participated in the demonstrations; the singing and dancing in Blantyre on February 17, 2020 were some of the so called old guards of politics like Brown James Mpinganjira aka ‘BJ’, Henry Mussa, Francis Mphepo etc. From the look of things, these people did not just participate; they were actually the organizers of the demonstrations.
Mussa read the petition at Blantyre City Council; BJ gyrated and danced all the way and was the one who came closest to his inner child; Mphepo in cohort with Secretary General Gerselder Jeffrey convened a press conference the next day touting the demonstrations as a success and promising to hold others in Zomba, Mzuzu and Lilongwe.
Mphepo (a blood relation of Brown Mpinganjira) is an old and tired former MP who has been in the DPP for quite a long time. He is one person who is credited for misleading President Peter Mutharika into making some of his most unpopular decisions to date. Just recently he was recorded insulting people from the northern region of the country as ungrateful and not deserving any development.
This angered a lot of people in the northern region who threatened to deal with him if he dares to travel to that region. This is not the first time that Mphepo has been banned from visiting certain areas in the country (ask people in the DPP they will tell you), it could also be the reason DPP’s planned demonstrations in the northern region have failed. Hitherto Mussa wanted to be respected as the doyen of Chiradzulu district until he lost his seat in the May 2019 election to a youthful aspirant. He is no longer MP; no longer cabinet minister and now operates on the fringes of politics.
One can write a whole book about Brown Mpinganjira and his level of ‘cunningness’ (Bakili Muluzi knows better). BJ is embroidered in the Judge bribing saga where he is alleged to have been the one taking money from his relation, Thom Mpinganjira, amounting to hundreds of millions of Kwachas under the guise of giving it to the five Constitutional Court Judges so that they judge in favour of DPP when in real sense he was taking the monies for himself.
Now, is it not rather odd to see BJ demonstrating and dancing, carrying a placard written ‘we want justice’, against the very judges he wanted to bribe? Which justice is BJ looking for? On what basis must a ‘briber’ seek justice from a ‘bribee’? Why is BJ taking Malawi as a kangaroo country without laws and morals?
It is a general consensus by political pundits and analysts that the DPP is suffering its lowest moment right now regarding its political image. It is also a general consensus that the party must put its act together if it wants to stand a chance of winning in the forthcoming fresh election and that the process must start now. Brown, Mpinganjira, Francis Mphepo or Henry Mussa should not be the people to front DPP politics if the party is genuinely interested in winning an election, especially when a majority of voters are the youth. Just what is the DPP thinking?
DPP has always relied on having a loyal base of supporters in the Lhomwe belt who have consistently catapulted the party to power in previous elections. That story will be different this time around because the political profile and dynamics have changed and DPP must stop fooling itself with old politics as authored by the Mphepos and Mpinganjiras of this world. The politics of ‘kutukwana ma jaji’ will not cut it this time. DPP needs sleek young politicians who can negotiate and speak on a higher plane of modern politics not Nyekhwe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :