To those that follow politics and let alone get involved in politics, there is a common word or description that befits creating a solution to political problems. As many describe it, the word “Striking a deal” has helped political parties be at peace, government and opposition parties agreeing to get things done and as a strategy, deals have helped parties form alliances and fight elections together. I have been following the problems that have engulfed opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for some time, and it’s slowly becoming the most boring political infighting in the history of Malawi Politics. The problems in the party have been left to grow for so long to the point where now it is becoming a distraction to the party’s preparation for Next year’s General elections.
To some that don’t know, MCP has had problems with some of its national executive members who have been critical of the party president Dr Lazarus Chakwera for flouting party constitution and the direction he was taking the party to. Often dubbed by MCP supporters as “Nkholokolo” the group , which among others comprise of Secretary General Gustav Kaliwo , Vice President Richard Msowoya and Publicity secretary Jessie Kabwila have resorted into taking the party to court to fight their recent suspension from the party , which has led to the planned MCP Convention suspended indefinitely.
Many political commentators have described the situation as sad times for the party, as it has lost its power and is now being dictated by the outcomes of the courts. No political party would love to have its affairs dictated by the court judges, but as political parties are meant to respect the rulings of the courts MCP has no choice but to abide to the outcomes of the court. It is easy to point out that the problems in the party were left to grow. This might not have been deliberate, but there was some thinking that through the passage of time, all these problems will just die out on their own. What the party underestimated was the legal experience of Gustav Kaliwo, who, has find solace in the courts to fight of what has become his personal battle. Many theories have surfaces, with accusations that the rebels are being financed by the ruling DPP being the commonly used theory.
The fight has got to a point where none of the two sides is ready to buldge. However, a victim has started to surface and that is MCP itselfas a party. The party has failed to hold its convention which was scheduled for the first week of April as the courts haven’t cleared them to do so until the court issues are resolved. Kaliwo has got nothing to lose- but will use his understanding of the law to delay MCP conventions thereby messing the parties campaign strategies. In a few days time MCP could have known their new leadership structure and prepare togointo campaignmode, but here they are, still fighting Court battles with no concrete date in place for the party convention. DPP on the other hand have just launched their “operation landlslide” campaign strategy and are quickly getting into the campaign gear.
Its time MCP has to do things to get the house in order . The political landscape will change so much over the coming months and it would be good if the party was better organised. We have former president Joyce Banda potentially coming back and with probability of standing for presidency again. We have the UDF due to have its convention, and then we have the unsettling issues of Vice president SaulosChilima . The point I am trying to make here is that , the so called MCP rebels , always have wanted the convention to take place .
The party prepared to have the convention but then suspended them before that , which led them to take an injunction against the party. A convention offers no guarantees to anybody , every position is contested for . This is why I can argue that this was the perfect time to invite the so called rebels back in the party . If Kaliwo and company can be invited back in the party , then they will have a chance to defend their positions when the party will be electing its new executive.
As political history suggest- party politics are best dealt within the party rather than relying on courts. Compromise has been the solution to most political quabbles and deal making is what gets things done. Let the MCP deal makers bring the so called rebels on the table , strike a deal and let the convention take place . The party delegates will then have a final say as to who they want in the party executive .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :