A Blantyre-based political commentator has advised the opposition DPP that if it has to remain a strong political party, it must organize an early convention where all positions should be up for grabs.
In an interview published in the Weekend Nation of September 26, 2020, Caesar Kondowe says that those who would be elected to various positions should be given space and latitude to rebuild the party and prepare for the next elections under the guidance of the new party leader.
“That would be the best way forward for the party,” says Kondowe in reaction to internal squabbles in the DPP that saw the recent summoning of Vice President for Southern Region and Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa to appear before a ‘disciplinary committee’ for alleged insubordination, among other charges.
Kondowe says it is important for political parties to have internal disciplinary frameworks to entrench intra-party democracy but the manner in which the Nankhumwa disciplinary matter was handled “failed a critical democracy test”.
“From the disciplinary grounds and the composition of the disciplinary committee, it was clear the process was meant to serve the twisted personal interests of a few individuals who are also interested in the position of Leader of Opposition and the presidency. It was a kangaroo court meant to punish Nankhumwa for the simple reason that he is a political threat to the people that are actually laying the charges.
“The charge of failure to clarify his background and qualification is as bizarre as it comes because Nankhumwa has all along been DPP and served as cabinet minister in the administration of Bingu wa Mutharika as well as Peter Mutharika. If the DPP really wanted him to clarify on these issues, it would have prompted him a long time ago when he was rising through the party ranks and being appointed to all the cabinet positions. The question is, has the DPP asked Nankhumwa to clarify on these allegations before? Why now? Let those accusing Nankhumwa prove the allegations, not Nankhumwa,” opines Kondowe.
Kondowe says internal squabbling will obviously cost the party in the end. He says the DPP should have drawn back to do a deeper soul-searching and political post-mortem to find out where it went wrong, or where it is still going wrong.
“That process would have helped the party to craft the right strategies for recovery to prepare for the next elections. The bickering will only make the party to lose focus; fail to prepare and ultimately lose the next elections, again. The good thing is that the next elections are almost five years from now and the party has time to prepare,” says Kondowe.
Elsewhere, he observes, the leadership of a party that has lost an election resigns to pave way for fresh ideas. It is just an ethical and moral thing to do in a democracy, and what the (DPP) Director of Elections, Ben Phiri, did to concede failure and to resign was a sign of maturity and commendable, says Kondowe.
“It should have been Mutharika setting this precedent by resigning his post to pave way for fresh ideas after failing to lead the party to victory,” says Kondowe.
Apart from Nankhumwa, the other names that are coming forward for the top leadership job in the party are VP in the Eastern Region Bright Msaka, VP for the centre, Uladi Mussa and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) President Walter Nyamilandu.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :