Special Commentary: Malawi Pres.Banda’s PP needs to rethink its smear campaign

It is now as official as it will get ever get, the Malawi ruling Peoples’ Party (PP) has unveiled its campaign strategy on the road to 2014.

Its strategy is slander, slander and more slander led by foul mouthed Uladi Mussa, MP and Minister of Home Affairs.

The question puzzling many Malawians vis-à-vis this ungainly behaviour is what exactly is the matter with Honourable Uladi Mussa.

Uladi Mussa probably learnt ‘the art of smear’ at Salima Secondary School where he got his MSCE certificate. After secondary school, he went to Domasi Teachers College where he obtained a T2 qualification.

Going by his current form; he was not attending a course on education with a view to alleviate prospective students’ ignorance, but must have been studying, on the side-lines, libel.

Uladi Mussa: PP attack dog
Uladi Mussa: PP attack dog

Apparently, the honourable has an International Certificate in English and a certificate in Modern Management and Administration obtained from the UK-based Cambridge http://www.afrol.com/articles/22174 .

Again, in this regard, people are left with no choice but to safely conclude that if hurling insults was on the curriculum, he passed with distinction.

What does not make sense with his chosen bizarre specialization is that he has been around for a while and people would expect him to be exemplary.

Honourable Uladi Mussa was first elected to parliament in 1994 on a United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket, and served – briefly – in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) before breaking away to form his own Maravi Party, which he dissolved on his way to the current PP.

This, effectively means that between a space of nine years – 2004 to date; he has served four political parties and with his nomadic behaviour, there is no telling where he well be in two years.

While he is not the only one to have an assortment of half the colours of the rainbow (yellow, blue, whatever colour his defunct Maravi Party was sporting and now orange), he ranks high amongst the marauding political breed called recycled politicians or simply put: political harlots.

And this perhaps, sheds light to his need to hang on to slander as if his life depends on it, because in a way, his political survival, does depend on his shameless slandering of others.

Fact is: in the 2009 Elections, in his Salima South Constituency http://www.sdnp.org.mw/election/elections2009/index.php?district=Salima , his runner up Mrs Alice Jumbe (DPP) secured 3,984, a mere 525 votes short of his 4509 votes.  For all we know Uladi Mussa could be a man on his way out and his hullabaloo is the proverbial last kick of a dying horse.

Political prostitutes, other than roving from one ruling party to another, share other similarities and characteristics.

And one of these is that they lack competitive advantage and are at very good hand clappers.  And this explains Uladi, but should not be taken or accepted as an excuse for his unfortunate choice of specialisation: slander.

Listening to his defence of his barbaric tirades against Honourable Atupele Muluzi, who it must be said is miles ahead and conducting his campaign with a twenty first century issue based approach; and again on Honourable Peter Mutharika, who other than that old juicy MiJ reporter incident, has not been heard badmouthing others; one wonders how long Uladi Mussa and his type of archaic politics will stay relevant.

Mussa has reportedly vowed to continue with his attacks on opposition political parties and their leadership, saying that is the kind of politics he has been playing since 1992.

“A rally is not a religious gathering where all speakers say the same things. We can’t be talking about policies, policies and policies…. What will the president talk about then? It will be redundant,” Mussa http://www.bnltimes.com/index.php/daily-times/headlines/national/14872-pp-backs-mussa-on-verbal-attacks   said.

Nothing and no one could have steered further from the truth. Uladi is obviously lost. He has an absolutely outdated view of politics and political rallies.

Sadly, this is yet another manifestation of the type of thinking that inundates our leaders, especially those in government and worryingly, holding cabinet appointments and advising the president.

Personality focused politicking results in loss of direction.  This loss of focus, in turn, is the reason for Malawi’s under-development. By focussing on personalities, the big picture gets blurred, resulting in efforts and resources being invested in futility.

“We can’t be talking about policies, policies and policies…. What will the president talk about then?” Such a statement, coming from a senior cabinet minister, reads: disaster! We are in trouble Bwana!

Crafting policies, directing policy, reviewing dysfunctional policies, thinking policy, dreaming policy, and expounding policies is exactly what Uladi Mussa and his cabinet colleagues are paid for, nothing else.

And since Uladi Mussa does not want to fulfil this job description, opting to moonlight – on taxpayers money – as a party tabloid and clown, he has no place in any self-respecting government.

But then again, maybe this is exactly why he is where he is.

Everyone knows for a fact that birds of a feather flock together. If he were a thorn in the flesh, he would have been, in the least reminded of his job description, freedom of expression notwithstanding and advised to become civilized.

Crossing over to the UDF, where Uladi claims to have learned his bad-mouthing, everyone has observed that Atupele Muluzi, despite his father being the mentor of the likes of Uladi Mussa, has yet to belittle himself in attacking personalities.

If Atupele is able to defy blood which is thicker than water, and exude maturity, why can’t Uladi Mussa, much older than Atupele, borrow a leaf from the youthful aspirant and grow up?

What is wrong with Uladi Mussa?

Again during the recent first of its kind Malawi Congress Party (MCP) radio debate on Zodiak, the three contenders raised the bar in as far as divorcing personality from issues and politics is concerned.

The MCP trio sparred, argued, counter-argued and contrasted with such civility that for a while, it was difficult to believe they were rivals.

These two cases: honourable Atupele’s enviable example and the MCP gurus’ civilised debate are more than enough proof that slander is slowly losing space on political podiums and a warning to those who mistakenly believe it is still trendy.

One would want to remind the Peoples Party one thing: as a ruling party, they owe it to Malawi to set standards with respect to ingraining a culture of respect for self and others.

Again, PP should not be swallow its own propaganda and believe that smear is not and will not backfire. The mud-slinging tactic is backfiring – in a big way; resulting in crowds at Atupele’s and Peter’s gatherings increasingly swelling. The work of Uladi’s big mouth is benefitting the very people he wants to denigrate.

I rest my case.

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