‘Mwanamvekha man to watch in DPP’ as analysts say party risk being reduced to Lhomwe belt

Prominent newspaper columnist Ephraim Munthali, who is also managing editor at Nation Publications Limited,  says the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)  spokesperson on finance and former  Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha is demonstrating that he is a leader who wants to govern from the bottom up by getting what the grassroots people – through their representation – want in their communities.

Leader of opposition Nankhumwa (L) with former finance minister Joseph Mwanamvekha : Battle for  DPP leadership

Writing on his influential ‘Cut-the-Chaff’ column published in the Weekend Nation newspaper, Munthali noted that Mwanamvekha is introducing himself to DPP grassroots structures that are crucial in rebuilding the party and deciding who its next leader should be.

‘Mwanamvekha man to watch in DPP’, reads the title of his column, saying “ It looks to me that when Mwanamvekga finally came out to signal his interest in the DPP top leadership, he had a plan and is now executing it, apparently, to the letter. Particulary interesting is the listening tour Mwanamvekha has embarked on.”

However, the columnist pointed out that Mwanamvekha “certainly  means business, shows he is strategic, demonstrates mature politics.”

But in its coverage of the DPP  elective convention in the paper, political analysts observed that the trend so far in the party where all six people who have expressed interest to contest for the position of party president are from the Southern Region—with five of them from the Lhomwe belt— saying this could harm the party.

University of Malawi (Unima) Chancellor College-based political scientist Mustapha Hussein said in quotes reported by the paper that DPP should reflect upon this because it will eventually become a weakness on it as it will restrict its support base.

“So, as they prepare for the convention, the leadership needs to rethink and encourage contenders from other regions to join the race,” he said.

Another Unima political scientist Master Dicks Mfune said it was high time DPP followers and Malawians accepted the reality that the party has its biggest support base in the Lhomwe belt and is also largely controlled by people from this belt.

Mfune observed that as such the ethnic grouping is not ready to let the party go elsewhere.

He said: “As a result, this approach, if not swiftly corrected and deliberate strategies put in place, will greatly harm the popularity of the party. The numbers will start dwindling as people from other regions will ultimately withdraw their support on the basis that the leadership always comes from one area.

“For the sake of transformation they need to deliberately raise other people from other regions if they are to regain power and get back to government one day.”

The paper also quoted George Phiri, a political scientist from University of Livingstonia, who blamed DPP’s president Peter Mutharika for what he said was his failure to put in place a proper succession plan that has created the current problem.

He alleged that during the six years he was in power, Mutharika turned the party into an ethnic grouping, without regard to other merits and abilities of people from other regions and districts.

“Unfortunately, this is not only a problem for the DPP but many other political parties in Malawi. Unlike his brother Bingu, Peter did not have an agenda of nationalising the party. That is why we see dominance of contestants from one area—the Lhomwe belt—because that is what Peter preached,” alleged Phiri.

He also agreed with Mfune in his observation that the popularity of the DPP, including among its members, will decline if the current trend is not reversed because DPP will not be appreciated as a national party , but a regional bloc.

The six DPP members who have expressed interest to run for presidency are former Cabinet ministers Kondwani Nankhumwa, Joseph Mwanamvekha, George Chaponda, former central bank governor Dalitso Kabambe—all from the Lhomwe belt—another former Cabinet minister Bright Msaka from Machinga and Benedict Mbewe.

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mtete
mtete
4 months ago

Is this the same person who, it is rumoured, I repeat, rumoured, was drawing two salaries while at Treasury; one from his substantive post and the other from MSB before it was given away to FDH? If so, what guarantee is there that taxpayers money would be safe with him at the helm?

Ghengis Khan
4 months ago

The same Nyasatimes has just reported that DPP MP from Karonga passed away. The same party you accuse of being ethnically biased in its leadership has seats in all regions of the country. Which other party has a similar national footprint?

Rocky Dada
Rocky Dada
4 months ago

The DPP is essentially dead! How can you run a party based on Lomwelisiation. They are a spent force! I recognise UTM as the only hope we have on this Land!

SHAMBZYA
SHAMBZYA
4 months ago

That’s the state of affairs in all parties. MCP draws most of its leaders from the centre, so is UDF from the east and Aford from the north. There is nothing strange here. Actually that is what keeps the parties strong because they get leaders where they enjoy the support most, apparently sustaining the support in the long run. Nationalization of parties works elsewhere not in Malawi. Parties in Malawi that have decided to take that path have kissed a dead end. You obviously need a strong base and spread out from there, a case of MCP.

Katsinomulewa
Katsinomulewa
4 months ago

I usually mistake mwanaveka for a T/A

Hawell
4 months ago

A Munthali there is no substance in what u r saying. Do u mean to say DPP is for Lomwes just bcoz it was started by Bingu and later APM came into power after JB? Do u mean to say Lomwes shud not take part in elections specifically presidential candidates? Does DPP block others from contesting? To hell with that poor analysis! What ppo want is a party that will govern the country with maturity not what u see today that leadership is failing to make decisions lero anena izi mawa izo very confusing indeed and malawi is leading nowhere!… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago

Kuchekenila nkhumba mmapiko kuli dzuwa…kikikikikikiki

Quixote
Quixote
4 months ago

Mukukambazo ndi zamukalasi. The reality and unfortunate part is that Malawi is full of illiterate people. so your ” stochastic variables” etc can not apply. It’s bush politics until the nation is learned.

Noxy
4 months ago

Very tribalist assessment.The Lomwes are silent hard-working people and deserves what is due to them like any other tribe in Malawi.There are two types of people in the world regardless of their colour i.e. good or bad.You can have a good and bad person from any tribe or colour of any Society in the world.There are good whites and bad whites,there are good indians and bad indians,there are good blacks and bad blacks.Same in Malawi there are good and bad Lhomwes,there are also good and bad Tumbukas,there are also good and bad Chewas, there are also good and bad Tongas… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Noxy
Bwana wa Ulesi
Bwana wa Ulesi
4 months ago
Reply to  Noxy

Mawu

Za ulendo uno
4 months ago

Just a waste of time by the fucken ngulus. They cannot rule this country again.

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