As political drama continues to unfold in the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiradzulu South who is also former Finance Minister, Joseph Mwanamveka is to drop out of the race for the party leadership and will throw his support behind Dr Dalitso Kabambe, an inside source close to his campaign has confirmed.
The source claimed that after realising that his campaign is not lifting to the level where he would win the party presidency at the forthcoming convention, Mwanamveka has decided that the best option under the circumstances is to pull out of the race and support a candidate who he thinks is the favourite of the rank and file in the party, and a candidate who has the support of Peter Mutharika, the outgoing party President. Kabambe is seen among many as Mutharika’s blue-eyed boy and his anointed ‘heir to the throne’.
Mwanamveka, who is also DPP spokesperson on matters of finance and economy, has travelled to almost all the regions in the country to meet party leaders at all levels, and has a clear image of what party supporters want, according to the source, who preferred anonymity.
“Under the circumstances, he (Mwanamveka) would not want to waste any more resources doing something that he knows will not pay any dividends regardless of the effort.
“The other thing that has also motivated Mwanamveka to make the decision to support Kabambe is his respect for Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika. He is well aware that Mutharika prefers Kabambe to the other candidates that have so far shown interest to succeed him as DPP president.
Mwanamveka does not want to antagonise Mutharika who he still respects and whom he describes using flowery language as evidenced by his speech when he was responding to the budget statement in Parliament where he showered the former President with so much praise,” said the source.
The source added that by now Mwanamveka is aware that all candidates who are fighting Mutharika over succession issues in the DPP are only wasting their time because the President has already settled for Kabambe and is prepared to make available all his resources for him to triumph at the national convention. He said what Mwanamveka is doing is just a classical story of ‘if-you-can’t-beat-them-just–join-them’.
On Tuesday, June 29, 2021, Mwanamveka was seen at Lumbadzi Police Station where he went to visit and offer moral support to Kabambe who was arrested on June 28, 2021 for authorising transfer of funds amounting to K4.3 billion to FDH bank on the eve of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) announcement of fresh presidential election results in 2020 when he was Reseve Bank of Malawi Governor. The source said the two are planning to hold joint rallies as soon as Kabambe is out of the cooler.
However, a political scientist who also spoke on condition of strict anonymity said Mwanamveka’s move might be just tactical looking at how the political waters are flowing within the DPP.
“What Mwanamveka is doing is only meant to endear himself to the centre of power in the party. He knows Kabambe could be convicted looking at the seriousness of the offence that he has been arrested for. What he is doing is to position himself so that he is the next favourite candidate when Kabambe falls.
“I would, therefore, not call his move dropping from the race but rather a tactical withdrawal to allow some political elements fall into place,” said the political analyst.
Mwanamveka could not take Nyasa Times calls on several attempts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :