The campaign for State House 2019 has begun. Forget the official campaign period. If you want to win in 2019, as a councillor, member of parliament or tenant number one at Sanjika, this is the time to begin. Well Mohammed Sidik Mia has already started his campaign to be Vice President for the MCP.
Let’s do something political mathematics. President Peter Mutharika won with 1.9 million vote or 36.4 percent. Reverend Chakwera had around 1.45 million of 27 percent, Joyce Banda as sitting President only got 20.2 percent at 1.05 million and Atupele Muluzi with 717 thousand votes managed 13.6 percent. Only one research results had closer to these figures before elections.
I met one of the country’s shrewd researcher and analyst recently in my sojourns. I asked him, his answer was mathematics don’t like- they are facts and figures. Any alliance Reverend Chakwera decides- to pick Atupele or partner with Peoples Party, gets him to magic number of 40 percent. However, the same cannot be said about Democratic Progressive Party- it has been in Government and very likely it has lost urban areas where economic downturn always hits hard. The cost of living is gone high.
So the DPP should assume its popularity, which includes the promises that it made in 2014 is now around 30 percent. An alliance with a split UDF brings around 11 percent or more, but the central and northern region votes, plus the Lower Shire and urban centres like Blantyre, Zomba, Balaka and Mangochi which boosted its 2014 cant be relied upon.
In politics, unfortunately nobody wants to hear the truth. The truth is that Gwanda Chakuamba was the last political gladiator of the Lower Shire. He run on MCP ticket, won in the North, Centre and brought in MP’s in Chikwakwa and Nsanje- but was not enough to deny Bakili Muluzi, not once- but three times (yes including the Bingu 2004 elections) his stay at State House.
So the elections in 2019, if you discount Mia, whose biggest fight would be October 2017 bye-elections in Nsanje Lalanje, needs to learn to go out beyond Muslims and start having strategists that know politics and do not worship his money. Reverend Lazarus Chakwera might have gotten himself a sponsor- but he is yet to get someone who can bring votes. Remove his money, Sidik Mia has no personal loyalty like Gwanda Chakuamba or John Tembo in MCP. He is another Peter Fatch.
So, it comes back to Atupele and Vice President Dr. Soulosi K. Chilima. These are the two names that will determine 2019 elections. Both are young, both are likeable and both have national tongues wagging a about their political future.
Yes, Atupele has strong political base of 13 percent national vote, that add it to President Peter wa Mutharika’s 36 percent it gives the President 50 plus one majority that he needs to govern again in 2019.
Dr. Chilima is loved by social media and very little known of him politically. Some of his associates would want him start laying ground and see what he can achieve. It is difficult and challenging for a man who has no political position is his own party. But with Soulosi never is never, he managed to overtake established politicians and became a Vice President. I always say politics makes anyone- and anyone can make politics, Late Bingu wa Mutharika proved the impossible possible.
So in 2019 if you want to know what will happen- look closely at these two men. Whatever they decide will define the fate of President Peter Mutharika and Reverend Lazarous Chakwera. If you want to win next elections- the northern region will decide in less than 22 months from now who goes to State House, by following any of these two young men- to be the next Vice President of Malawi, whose fate and luck makes the election campaign that has started interesting!
President Mutharika might have just added fuel to blazing fire- by declaring Chilima his son, reshuffle his cabinet and push Atupele to come out and campaign! Dzuka Malawi, the hour of political gladiators is gone- battle of wit and strategy has our politics become. Imagine if Atupele and Chilima formed a pair and run- the third option could prove new politics is possible!
- Next post- why underestimating Joyce Banda is a disaster!