Recently an opinion piece claimed that UTM and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) alliance had collapsed– thanks Nyasa Times that it had clearly put the disclamer the context expressed in that article did not reflect its views but those of the author. In the same vein, I also use the platform to counter that piece in my own views too.
The author’s claim about the collapse of the UMT-MCP alliance has little or no substance at all. The reasons he gives beggar belief.
It would be very unprofessional on my part to start analysing the faulty reasons he gives in his piece. They say going into a fight with a lunatic makes spectators conclude that both of you deserve a room in a mental hospital. And so this piece will not punch any holes into the substance of the article in question.
However, the writer of the piece in question may wish to note that the UTM/MCP Alliance is by no means equal to that of DPP and UDF. These two alliances are in two different worlds. While in the DPP/UDF alliance it is very obvious that Atupele Muluzi is not going to come anywhere near the running mate position, the issue is different in the UTM/MCP Alliance.
In the UTM/MCP Alliance, both Dr Saulos Chilima of UTM and Dr Lazarus Chakwera of MCP are too strong for President Peter Mutharika. In fact, all factors being equal, Mutharika does not come any closer to Chilima in all aspects of leadership qualities. Neither can he be anywhere near Chakwera.
It is an open secret that whoever the UTM/MCP Alliance settles for as the torchbearer will defeat the DPP/UDF Alliance candidate. If Reverend Chakwera goes as the torchbearer for this alliance with Dr Chilima as his running mate, 50 percent plus one victory is sealed. Even worse, if Dr Chilima is settled for as the one to lead the UTM/MCP Alliance and Reverend Chakwera as the running mate, a 70 percentage victory is double assured.
Whichever route the UTM/MCP Alliance decides to take, therefore, leads them to victory. So the issue in this alliance is no longer about winning this election. The issue is the margin of victory the partners wish to have.
If the alliance wants a landslide victory of above 70 percent, then Dr Chilima gets on the driving seat. If they want a mere victory of slightly above 50 percent, then Reverend Chakwera has to lead the alliance. In both cases, however, this alliance is winning the forthcoming fresh presidential elections.
It is this assurance of victory that brings peace and tranquility in the UTM/MCP Alliance. And the peace and tranquility this alliance is swimming and swinging in, are attracting more and more followers of the DPP/UDF alliance. A day hardly goes by without hearing news of either DPP or UDF members defecting to UTM.
Not long ago, the country heard about mass defections of DPP members in Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe and Chiradzulo to join UTM. On Tuesday, 21 April, 2020, former UDF Deputy Publicity Secretary also joined UTM. These are facts, hard facts. Not mere speculation and hearsay. And facts like these speak volumes about an alliance destined to win an election.
On the other hand, while UTM and MCP are swimming and swinging in the glory of their alliance, DPP and UDF are in deep, deep confusion. It cannot be overemphasized that all is not well in this alliance. There are battles, fierce battles in the DPP/UDF alliance.
Three opposing camps have emerged. One camp is in support of Herbert Chimulirenji as Mutharika’s running mate. This camp says Chimulirenji is humble. They say he deserves another chance.
And then there is another camp which is for Kondwani Nankhumwa as the running mate. Whether this camp will be successful in this battle is neither here nor there. The issue of substance now is that this camp is there.
Some days ago, well known DPP cadets, recorded video clips claiming that the confusion that is in DPP is being masterminded by Norman Chisale – the presidential security aide. This group, which is fighting for the removal of Chisale, is believed to be fighting for Nankhumwa. These are facts, hard facts.
The third camp camp emerging in the DPP/UDF alliance is one that belongs to UDF. This camp dreams to have Atupele as Mutharika’s running mate. Anyway, it is not illegal to dream the way those in this camp are doing.
Now, all these three camps have similar expectations. They expect that the gods will smile on them so that one of their own is picked by Mutharika. They expect that Mutharika will flip the magic page and then they will see the name of one of their own scribbled on the page. This is what each of those in the three groups expect.
But Mutharika won’t pick all of them. He will only pick one. One only. There is always one running mate. Not two. Not three.
Whoever Mutharika decides to pick will not be a good choice for the other two camps. And this will divide the alliance further. With no fear of contradiction, this is the alliance one can say is crumbling down. Not the UTM/MCP Alliance.
It is now just a matter of days before Malawians witness the actual collapsing down of the DPP/MCP alliance. In about two weeks from now, the Malawi Electoral Commission will be receiving nomination papers from presidential candidates. There will be drama in the DPP/UDF alliance just after the presentation of these nomination papers. Hearts will break.
It is after this exercise that a mass exodus from the DPP/UDF alliance to the UTM/MCP alliance will start. And the aftermath of this exodus will be tragic. Yes, tragedy shall befall the DPP family. Some shall shed true tears. Others shall shed crocodile tears. But all of us, Malawians, shall shed tears for the DPP family.
- All views expressed are those of the author and should not be taken as reflecting the views of the Nyasa Times.