Mutharika’s runningmate puzzle: Tembenu faction emerges in DPP

Some few governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are pushing for  Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu as a more viable option for a running mate to President Peter Mutharika  in the May 21  presidential race, Nyasa Times understands.

Tembenu: Running mate?

The social media has recently been flush with various names as possible running-mates to President Mutharika. Some have gone as far as concluding that the decision has already been made and that everything is now a foregone conclusion.

But a faction operating under the banner of ‘DPP Patriots’ have dropped a memo to President Mutharika that they endorse Tembenu to be the runningmate.

The information was corroborated by one of the members of the faction who said they have submitted the memo to President Mutharika through government Chief Secretary Lloyd Muhara.

Mutharika, 79,—eligible for a second term and mandatory final term as per the Malawi Constitution— is set to pick his runningmate and present to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) during nominations before February 10.

The DPP Patriots faction is arguing that President Mutharika is quite advanced in age and he obviously does not have the energy of a 40-year old person, therefore, he must activate the  succession plan.

They want Tembenu  to shadow and understudy President Mutharika so that he takes over when he eventually retires from the political stage and Tembenu can in turn pick someone from the ‘DPP Patriots’ from Thyolo as his second-in-command.

According to the constitution of the Republic of Malawi, the Vice President is the one who takes over in the event that a sitting President is incapacitated or dies in office.  It happened before in Malawi when the late President Bingu wa Mutharika collapsed and died in office whereupon Vice President  that time, Joyce Banda, took over the reins of power with catastrophic consequences for DPP.

But the mainstream DPP is not buying the Tembenu runningmate ticket.

They want  a bona-fide DPP member with a comprehensive institutional memory of the party to deputize President Mutharika as running-mate and to front the party’s new youthful identity projection.

Currently, the person who systematically embodies that projection is the party’s Southern Region Vice President, Kondwani Nankhumwa.

But the DPP Patriots faction does not back Nankhumwa despite him being a a proper DPP product who has risen through the ranks of the party to the top and  has comprehensive knowledge of the party and its structures and is the one better able and disposed to defend and protect its ethos and vision.

Nankhumwa, who is also Local Government and Rural Development minister, Leader of Government Business in Parliament and Member of Parliament (MP) for Mulanje Central, is also young and undeniably loyal to President Mutharika, the party and its beliefs.

He has proved to be a man of the people and has recently demonstrated that he is capable among the four regional vice presidents of pulling crowds to his rallies, which is a trait DPP needs in its leaders of the future.

Others in DPP are also suggesting President Mutharika should consider their political bedfellows, United Democratic Front (UDF) with its leader Atupele Muluzi as his runningmate.

Obviously, Nankhumwa and Muluzi names as  possible running-mates to Mutharika would be quickly dismissed due to the fact that they come from the Southern Region  where President Mutharika comes from.

The argument is that DPP cannot have a scenario where its presidential candidate and running-mate come from the same region. It would mean that the other regions would feel left out and may not vote for the DPP in next year’s elections.

However, there is a strong converse argument that, as much as running-mates are important in an election; it has shown that people in Malawi do not necessarily vote for a running-mate but a presidential candidate. In 1994, Bakili Muluzi chose a career civil servant, Justin Malewezi as his running-mate, and despite serving with him for two terms, he lost elections in 2004 when he took a go at the presidency.

Bingu wa Mutharika won in 2009 with Joyce Banda as his running-mate but JB went on to lose elections when she had an opportunity in 2014. Peter Mutharika also chose a political non-entity from the private sector, Saulos Chilima, in 2014 but won the elections, which again underlined the fact that the value presidential running-mates bring to presidential tickets is only just negligible.

It also feeds into the argument that it is possible to win an election with a candidate and running-mate from the same region as long as they represent the common aspirations of Malawians. Bingu wa Mutharika, from Thyolo, won with a landslide in 2009, with Joyce Banda, from Zomba, as running-mate.

Recently, the public discourse has been awash with debate about the value that presidential running-mates bring to presidential tickets of their political parties, especially during elections.

The debate has been particularly defined by sharp exchanges between Mutharika and his esntranged Vice President Chilima. Chilima accused Mutharika and the DPP of not appreciating the role that he played ahead of the 2014 tripartite elections, claiming that DPP would not have won the elections if it were not for his contribution.

Mutharika and his army of supporters on the other hand have chided Chilima for overestimating his own importance and value. They have accused him of being just a passenger and contributing basically nothing to Mutharika’s win in the 2014. President Mutharika even publicly proclaimed that Chilima only came onto the scene 60 days to elections, and that by that time DPP had already ‘won’ the elections.

Already, almost all major political parties in this country are talking about running-mates, with various politicians silently campaigning and positioning themselves to be running-mates for their party’s presidential candidates.

Only Malawi Congress Party (MCP) torchbear Lazarus Chakwera named his running mate as Mohammed Sidik Mia, his party’s deputy president.

There are 18 candidates that have so far collected nomination forms from MEC to contest in the presidential racein the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

They include incumbent President Peter Mutharika, UTM Party president and Vice-President Saulos Chilima, Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera, United Democratic Front president Atupele Muluzi as well as People’s Party president and the country’s immediate former president Joyce Banda.The aspirants are expected to pay a nomination fee of K2 million each to participate in the elections.

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hatton
hatton
1 year ago

Two things are coming out clearly from this article. The first one is the assertion by Nyasatimes that APM is winning the May 2019 election.
The second one is that Mia does not add any value to MCP. His contribution to the losing MCP is negligible.

JJ Mbewe the Pathfinder
JJ Mbewe the Pathfinder
1 year ago
Reply to  hatton

kkkkkkkk where have you been Hatton? We have been missing you here, you are the most powerful member of DPP team. Great view on the article, it is long but you have managed to put it in short understanding. Bravo bro!

braveheart
1 year ago

You think APM is stupid?..ur just wasting ur time fabricating garbage. Watch the space!

Ndikunyenyanyenyani
Ndikunyenyanyenyani
1 year ago

What a hard decision to make kkkkkkk

UTM
UTM
1 year ago

Iam watching how DPP is managing Chaos

Gerald
Gerald
1 year ago

Bright Msaka is the chosen one based on my well placed sources.
Analyse carefully the events of the last few years and it becomes obvious…

Look back at the convention
His sudden raise (despite him having no political accumen, let alone charisma)
How he won the shadow elections..
The failed alliance with UDF…

Lastly his silent raise in cabinet….

Midnight 6 mafia in full effect

Nankumwa is an idiot and he is wasting his time, politically is due to become irrelevant…

Why..

Primarily because he is DPP and from the lomwe belt… Avery toxic mixture.

Chiswe Cha Mtengo
Chiswe Cha Mtengo
1 year ago

Inetu bola andiganizire 2nd vice president.

Nico las
Nico las
1 year ago

Zanu izo a dpp. Dyera mukanika kusankha running mate. Choose Atupele and a chair adzakuberani chipani. Choose a centraller or northerner, you risk kubetsa chipani. Choose a mulako, then all tribes will run away from you. Ndiye muyika ndani.

CitizenX
CitizenX
1 year ago
Reply to  Nico las

a sanke nikolas dausi or machacha kkkkkk these r the two guys who r fighting to keep dpp in power kkkkkkkkkkkk, dpp is now suffering the curse of a REGIONAL PARTY. THE END OF DPP is now here hahahahahahahaha UTM BOMA,

zoona Izi
zoona Izi
1 year ago

Does not look a Vice presidential material, Better Nankhumwa

Mirella K
Mirella K
1 year ago

This nkhani, might be true but it is more of speculative than evidenced based. mabodza enieni

Gerald
Gerald
1 year ago

Ka Golden Ticket amwene

God forbid, if though some dubious means (Zimbabwe style) like a true African despot, if Mr Maliseche ziboda was to be re-elected, I doubt in his old age he will last the whole 5 years.

I see two things
I can see God punishing him ruthlessly right here on earth.

I can also foresee another Daniel Phiri scenerio in the making…

wakikiki
wakikiki
1 year ago
Reply to  Gerald

tembenu is soooooooooooooooooooooo bad to be the vice president , look what he did in 2014 .you people should not forget muzaona akazawina zimene azachite

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