There is a potent political trait of running ethnic groupings, disguised as political parties, which represents what is wrong with Malawi’s politics.
Lazarus Chakwera’s MCP is a political grouping captured by parochial interests of few Chewa elites whose primary urge is to take over government and share the spoils.
Truth be told, the only reason MCP looks attractive is because they are not in power; as such, they don’t have access to government fortunes. Give them power—they will become another DPP.
In the years DPP has been in power, we have all witnessed how a grouping of few elite Lhomwes have captured affairs of the state by dominating key positions in most influential public institutions and, which is more critical, dominating in winning key government tenders and businesses.
We need to be afraid, very afraid of MCP and DPP because their level of capture, by their respective tribal elites, defines operational guidelines of these parties.
To mean, MCP and DPP can flight those rosy manifestos; but, truth be told, that is just smokescreen. They will always run government based on the interests of the tribal elites.
The biggest challenge is that President Peter Mutharika and Chakwera, in their personal capacities, do not have enough power to rise above petty and tribal interests of their respective powers. They are just zombies on the frontlines; but the kingpins are somewhere in the shadows calling every shot.
Take the allegations levelled against business tycoon Thom Mpinganjira for instance. If, indeed, it was true that Mpinganjira, a member of the Lhomwe belt, wanted to bribe judges to twist the ruling towards DPP favour, what was in it for him? What, in return, was Mpinganjira going to get—or, perhaps, he is already getting from government?
Or consider the MCP scenario with regards to South Africa based business person Simbi, a Chewa from Mchinji. Simbi went public, not Chakwera or MCP, declaring that he financially supports MCP. When the controversial Salima Water Project tensed up with people raising accountability and transparency questions around it, the leader of opposition Chakwera was mum. Why? He was compromised—he could not beat the finger that fed him.
That is why, as we are still in the shadows of the Concourt ruling, we need, as a nation, to begin a conversation aimed at dismantling elements of tribal and ethnic forces within our political dispensation.
Otherwise, MCP and DPP are a menace to our national goals of breaking the yoke of poverty. The two parties do not have independent institutional set up that Malawi needs to move. They parochial, they are tribal, they are ethnic—they are all captured by interests that do not represent that what Malawi need. They are bad for Malawi. We need to look elsewhere!Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :