From the early 90s to the present, no name has had the ruthless streak of being a hot political topic than that of Kamlepo Kalua.
He was fearless and combative in denouncing the fierce and dictator Kamuzu Banda, in the early 90s, when winds of democracy stirred up the shores.
Kamlepo, a former president of the defunct Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) who had a first short for presidency in the historic first democratic election in 1994 when Bakili Muluzi defeated dictator Kamuzu Banda.
He ran again in the 1999 presidential election where he finished third place with 1.4 percent of total national votes beating the late president Bingu wa Mutharika at 0.47 percent.
After Banda’s fall, the victorious Kamlepo sneaked into the jungle and returned in a camouflage, always in the streets, protesting against Bakili Muluzi’s leadership woes. He is credited for influencing political decisions, including the 1990s demonstrations against the spiraling cost of living, march against third term bid and the July 2011 anti-DPP government demonstrations.
His unrelenting ways of battling incumbents, saw him arrested over 9 times—the worst being the time of Bingu wa Mutharika who, constantly, kept him behind bars.
To every Malawian, Kamlepo is a controversial figure who is not afraid to speak out and shame every force contrary to his average.
Even when he won that Rumphi parliamentary seat, Kamlepo never shied away from controversy.
He, unceremoniously, cut political ties with People’s Party (PP), leaving Joyce Banda in the cold.
Quite bizzare, Kamlepo at one weekend, was reportedly missing only to be found at some lonely Chichiri Roundabout in Blantyre, chained—apparently abducted.
The news caused a stir as to what had happened to him, but after all was said and read, it all boiled down to one fact: Kamlepo is a controversial character, capable of every strange act under the sun.
But history has taken a different turn, at least for now.
Kamlepo is now a full Cabinet Minister, a political height he has never achieved in all the years he tried to make a political mark to his name.
But it’s the controversy in him, so prevalent, that will make work in Cabinet interesting.
Already, he has been all over social media fighting back every criticism leveled against his decision to accept a cabinet portfolio in Mutharika’s government.
He has been forthright that he has joined Mutharika’s cabinet—and he is not regretting, telling off every criticism of being part of an unpopular government that, to some, has few days to be in power.
But it will be interesting to see Kamlepo in suits, in order, playing to the government cards—something he has never been.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :