Joyce Banda presidency is a killer punch to opposition visibility, morale

OPPOSITION parties are a necessary though weak part of the democratic dispensation in Malawi. For they are essentially weak, they tend to be visible only when the government of the day is on the wrong side of governance.

For this reason, it should not be an unusual then that for some time now the opposition political parties have gained political mileage given late Mutharika’s political ineptitude and economic mismanagement.

Joyce Banda administration, new and promising as it is, will obviously attract new entrants who mostly will be opportunists from opposition political parties and distance-onlookers from the non-political private business world.

Resultantly, there will be massive exodus of both high and low ranking personalities from the opposition political parties who, largely due to Peoples Party’s (PP) naivety with government, will present themselves as honest PP-ites but who essentially will aim at exploiting the chances that might come with professing to being orange.

Joyce Banda welcoming Msonda to People's Party. Photo: Lusubilo Sichali/Nyasa Times

These are the people that when things turn sour, they always will be in the forefront professing to have changed from being of a particular party to that of that party. Additionally, these are people who will nod to any government decision and are more of ‘yes’ people than are of ‘yes…but’ type. They dance to every government tune without direction with the insincere intentions of being seen to be royal in the eyes of the boss.

Whatever the reasons for joining PP, the fact will remain that opposition party followers will inevitably lose some of its political party prostitutes to the PP-led government thereby having its visibility blurred and its morale greatly reduced.

Arguably, what will cause irreparable damage to opposition parties’ visibility and morale will be opposition’s its own lack of concrete agenda beyond the mistakes of the government of the day.

You would perhaps agree to the fact that the only moment opposition political parties in Malawi become visible and gain considerable amount of morale is when the government of the day makes mistakes and they come to make the grand criticism that make them look smarter. Laughably, the opposition parties have always sadly failed to offer any real solutions to the problems they commandingly comment to have observed.

Since it is now expected that President Joyce Banda will govern Malawi with a clean sheet mentality, it is most probably that she will have no grand mistakes for opposition parties to criticize. By extension, it thus means that opposition parties will have no issues to talk about in order to maintain or strengthen their respective party’s visibility and morale.

And assuming that the Banda administration continues to rule with no or minimal blunders up to 2014, it will mean PP will steal the much needed visibility and morale from the opposition parties and heap it on itself, thus automatically becoming a formidable force in the 2014 elections.

If indeed the Banda administration maintains a clean record up to 2014, then Malawians would literally beg Joyce Banda to be the torchbearer for PP in the 2014 elections–because President Joyce Banda will have relinquished the presidency by then.

For this reason, it is only that political party which will not wait for mistakes from government, but will consider itself a partner of government by offering timely suggestions to government, that will deny PP chances of stealing its visibility and morale.

But it is doubtful if such an opposition party exists in Malawi, or perhaps it does, but if actually does it still is doubtful if it has the high moral standing to position itself as a partner by offering governance solutions to the Banda administration.

This is an opposition parties whose manifesto is not a bunch of some directionless strings of unrelated ideas, but a result-oriented one with clear paths of how it intends to develop Malawi; and not as motivated by mistakes of the government of the day, but as dictated by passion for positively futuristic and realistic change. Such will be the party with the potential to steal PP’s show despite the fact that it will not be in government, though government will poach most of its strongest adherents.

It is thus compelling to conclude that unless such an opposition party (or parties?) exist(s) in Malawi, PP will enjoy massive morale and clear visibility which shall make it a force to reckon with come 2014 elections.

* Henry Chizimba,  Fourth Year, Education Humanities, Chancellor College

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