Political analyst have pointed out that Malawi Congress Party(MCP) legislator for Chikwawa South Constituency who is also the party’s deputy director of research, Elias Karim is the unheralded political gladiator for the party in the southern region.
Since the death of Mohammed Sidik Mia, who was the force which immensely contributed to the success of Africa’s first opposition coalition to defeat a sitting president in a court-sanctioned repeat election, there have been questions of who would be another political giant in the southern region.
While Mia’s wife, Abid Mia, is a firebrand politician in her own right, analysts have noted that Karim is unsung hero who won against all odds in the 2019 elections on MCP ticket and was also instrumental to expose rigging in some constituencies which led to the court’s nullification.
And Karim was spearheading the by-elections campaign that MCP won the two seats on March 31 2021 – Nsanje north and Nsanje central constituencies.
Late Mo Mia died with ‘the Shire Valley giant’ tag left by the late Gwanda Chakuamba, who helped MCP win all parliamentary seats in Nsanje in 1994.
Political commentator Ernest Thindwa, a lecturer at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, said Mia may not have been in the same league as Chakuamba, but he made MCP look bigger than its Central Region stronghold.
However, he said Karim has the attributes to be a political giant for MCP considering he is a good orator and the party’s link to the Muslim community as was Mia.
University of Livingstonia political scientist George Phiri said Karim is one of the politicians that MCP can bank on for its growth in the southern region.
“He is youthful and has grassroots connection,” he said.
Karim’s political status would be raised if President Lazarus Chakwera could name him in the Cabinet either as deputy minister or a ministerial position.
On MCP’s gains in Enock Chizuzu winner in Nsanje North Constituency and Kafandikhale Mandevana winner in Nsanje Central Constituency, political analysts said they needed time to grow in the party politics to be considered as heavyweights.
The analysts cautioned appointing Chizuzu and Mandevana in cabinet when they have just been elected to the House – of course with Karim as their kingmaker.
Chizuzu’s character is riddled with controversy as he has criminal cases on tax evasion while Mandevana is a rookie parliamentarian.
President Chakwera is set to make first Cabinet reshuffle since winning the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election held on June 23 2020.
Political analyst Mustapha Hussein of Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, said he expects Chakwera to assemble a strong team.
In the new Cabinet, the President is also expected to make replacements for two portfolios—Transport and Public Works and Local Government—which fell vacant in January after their respective holders Mohammed Sidik Mia and Lingson Belekanyama succumbed to Covid-19.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :