JZU Tembo: ‘Beware the Ides of March!’

If Honourable John ZU Tembo ever read history as His Excellency Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda encouraged everyone to, he either has forgotten all of it, or wasted his time.

Even if history was not his cup of coffee, I can bet my two blogs that he must have read, in the very least, English literature.

With Malawi’s historical ties with Britain, literature in his days must have meant William Shakespeare, William Shakespeare, and more William Shakespeare. And for his chosen career, politics, Julius Caesar http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/julius_caesar/ is the book he ought to try to remember, especially now.

Before I have every one of you confused, let me put things in their right context.

John Tembo
John Tembo

MCP’s phobia for new comers:

Tembo has in the past few months been very busy trying to figure out how to outwit people labelled “new comers” “nkhorokoro” and what have you, who have expressed interest in taking over from him as president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

For whatever reason, he is failing to recall and learn from Honourable Henry Phoya short stint in the MCP.

There are people in MCP ranks, who intimidated him which led him to quickly and conveniently jump ship to join the now ruling People’s Party (PP) – a party he had just fallen short of calling names when joining the MCP.

When Henry Phoya was leaving he said that although he had been heartily welcomed by Tembo into the MCP family, he had found the other MCP officials not so accommodating.

Phoya in a press briefing said he ditched MCP because he felt “rejected by the party hierarchy”.

It failed to work with MCP because the party does not recognize anyone from other regions besides the centre. I was only welcomed by the party president Mr. John Tembo not other top officials.” http://www.zodiakmalawi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4879:phoya-mussa-chilumpha-join-peoples-party&catid=42:banner-stories&Itemid=102

In short, some people – and now these are becoming more apparent – made his life hell, his prospects dim and continued party membership untenable. He therefore called it quits – of course with the aid of a ministerial enticement.

From this, it seems, Honourable JZU Tembo never learnt a thing – which is fine, after all it is his legacy that will be in tatters.

JZU Tembo: in Julius Caesar’s footsteps

Reminiscent of a Marcus Brutus/ Gaius Cassius conspiracy, his lieutenants Honourable Joseph Njobvuyalema, party Secretary General Dr Chris Daza and Makala Ngozo are using him towards their own selfish end.

Aware that the convention will not allow him to contest, they are misleading him so as to use him to outmanoeuvre the other challengers – something proving an uphill task. Had this succeeded, Honourable Joseph Njobvuyalema, party Secretary General Dr Chris Daza and Makala Ngozo had a plan B which would have seen them working together one way or another.

It is Hon JZU Tembo’s statement to ZBS that he volunteered to withdraw his candidacy but was forced that reminded me of Julius Caesar – especially his initial decision to stay away from the Senate as a result of Calpurnia’s imploration following an unfavourable prediction by soothsayers.


“What can be avoided

Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?

Yet Caesar shall go forth; for these predictions

Are to the world in general as to Caesar.”

Caesar was adamant to go to the Senate and went on to coin the adage “cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

Nevertheless after Calpurnia’s insistence, Caesar agreed to stay at home. The conspirators however had a contingency plan, banking on Caesar’s fear of being called weak. Just when Caesar had decided to stay at home, in came Decius Brutus.



“And you are come in very happy time,

To bear my greeting to the senators

And tell them that I will not come to-day:

Cannot, is false, and that I dare not, falser:

I will not come to-day: tell them so, Decius.”



“Say he is sick.”



“Shall Caesar send a lie?

Have I in conquest stretch’d mine arm so far,

To be afraid to tell graybeards the truth?

Decius, go tell them Caesar will not come.”



“Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,

Lest I be laugh’d at when I tell them so.”



“The cause is in my will: I will not come;

That is enough to satisfy the senate.

But for your private satisfaction,

Because I love you, I will let you know:

Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:

She dreamt to-night she saw my statue,

Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,

Did run pure blood: and many lusty Romans

Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it:

And these does she apply for warnings, and portents,

And evils imminent; and on her knee

Hath begg’d that I will stay at home to-day.”


Cunning to the max, Decius Brutus,  a master of spin, played on Caesar’s ego.



“This dream is all amiss interpreted;

It was a vision fair and fortunate:

Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,

In which so many smiling Romans bathed,

Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck

Reviving blood, and that great men shall press

For tinctures, stains, relics and cognizance.

This by Calpurnia’s dream is signified.”



“How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia!

I am ashamed I did yield to them.

Give me my robe, for I will go.”


And Julius Caesar went forth to meet his death. On the way, he had time to turn back but he elected to denigrate a well-meaning soothsayer of the beware of the Ides of March fame. Seeing the soothsayer Caesar said:

“The ides of March are come.”

“Ay, Caesar; but not gone.”

And indeed before the Ides of March were gone, Caesar was lying in a pool of blood, his own blood stabbed by none other than Marcus Brutus.


Tembo’s will never suffer humiliation greater than rejection at the convention.

Signs of JZU’ betrayal being nigh by the trio are written all over the wall. But being a Puludzu like Caesar, JZU refuses to hear the voices of the soothsayer yelling: beware the ides of March!

Evidently,  these conspirators, purporting to be his lieutenants, have led JZU into delusion, and before  they stab him deep in the back.

And when this transpires, it will be too late for Honourable JZU Tembo to say “Et tu Daza? Et to Njobvu, Et tu Makala Ngozo?”

At any rate – he will not even manage a kick of the dying horse and speak his last. Senior Positions will be shared among the three.

Personally I am very disappointed with JZU’s inability to read the signs of the times and his failure to make better use of history and literature.

Beware the Ides of August!


  • I have just been reliably informed that Honourable JZU Tembo will soon do a “Daniel Phiri”.
  • In collaboration with the ruling People’s Party (PP)  Honourable JZU Tembo will feign “illness” and flown to Jo’burg for “treatment”, by this Thursday.
  • The aim is to postpone the MCP convention yet again.
  • As we speak, a strategy is being developed to make it impossible for the vice president to open the convention once Tembo is flown out.
  • This Plan B, a cabinet member has told this wanted blogger, has been hatched by the PP Cabinet and MCP.

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