If you hate the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as I do and you have tears, lets prepare to shed floods of them right after May 19 Tri-partite Elections because Jane Ansah, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chair, will neither declare Lazarus Chakwera nor Saulos Chilima Malawi’s next president. Not even Joyce Banda or Atupele Muluzi will be announced that fateful day. She will only announce the re-election of His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.
You don’t like it? You better prepare so that, when that day come, you should never hide your shame by concurring with the lying opposition leaders who will accuse Ansa of having worked with DPP to rig elections.
Alright, let’s get down to the facts.
DPP continues to be unpopular with each passing day. Despite the smatter of unfinished roads projects and, of course, Mutharika’s generally sober governing, there isn’t anything tangible one can, actually, get convinced to re-elect this thieving and thuggish and tribalistic party. They deserve the boot, honestly.
However, DPP is not going anywhere because of one reason: We have a case of a united force of few fighting a disjointed army of many. The few that passionately love DPP are united and unshaken while the majority that hate DPP are in fragments and shaken.
Just look around.
DPP’s main source of its strength, as a party, is in its unfathomable tribal loyalty of the Lhomwe belt—the populous districts of Thyolo, Mulanje, Chiradzulo, Phalombe and the best part of Zomba.
Despite breakaways of stalwarts such as Patricia Kaliati, the Lhomwe belt remains an enclave of DPP—a base which no party can, presumably, claim more than 2 percent of all casted votes.
Because of this, DPP, unlike any other party, is going to the May 19 polls from a point of strength. All DPP needs now, which I am certain they are doing fine, is to claim additional votes from Shire Valley, Eastern Region, Central Region and the Northern Region. With the First-Past-The-Post electoral, trust me, there is no party, against what I have said there, which can triumph over DPP.
Look at the opposition.
We have four main political parties in the opposition which are all relatively strong. United Democratic Front (UDF) is still a major force in selective areas of the populous Mangochi, Machinga and Balaka districts. However, the Muluzi family party cannot claim, the way DPP would do with Lhomwe belt, complete ownership of the Eastern Region. DPP is also a force in some parts in this region; so too is Joyce Banda—especially in Zomba and Machinga.
We used to think of the Central Region—especially hardcore-Chewa districts of Dowa, Ntchisi, Mchinji, Lilongwe rural and Dedza—as MCP’s enclave. Not anymore—if voting patterns in the past two elections are anything to go by. We have seen DPP encroaching these districts and getting considerable votes. It will happen again.
Now with Chilima vigorously shooting in the dark, the battle for Central Region’s swing districts of Ntcheu, Nkhota Kota, Salima and Kasungu has just got more interesting. We have more players in the game of scramble.
None, of all major political parties, can claim complete control the urban vote, Northern Region and Shire Valley. Just as Central Region’s swing districts, the said areas are all up for the grab. All the major four parties—DPP, UTM, MCP and PP—has the capacity to pull considerable votes. You can Mwanza district to the equation.
What emerges from this is that DPP, riding on its unshaken base of the Lhomwe belt, has the shrewdness to, one, protect and guard its base and, two, to get additional votes, considerably so, from everywhere in the country. If you, further, add the advantage of using state resources to the equation, you know that DPP is on set. Unlike DPP, no other party is going to May 19 polls with such an advantage.
Unpredictable UTM and the shaken MCP will tussle hard in the Central Region as DPP bags home some votes. PP and UDF will tear each other apart in the Eastern Region while DPP steals some. UTM, DPP and MCP will share the urban vote. The North and the Shire Valley is up for the grab. Such a background doesn’t favor any other party apart from DPP.
The only way to stop DPP is for the opposition to form a united force. Actually, there is hardly any ideological difference among these opposition parties. They are all campaigning on similar things.
The only thing that keeps them away from each other is nothing but apparent egos of those leading these parties. Everyone, in their fragmented majority, wants to become a President—even Joyce Banda and Atupele Muluzi.
Well, unless their egos recede, which in unlikely, don’t expect any party from the opposition to carry May 19 home. Never. In fact, with its shrewdness, DPP will work tirelessly to keep these parties away from each other. Its DPP’s only winning strategy.
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