From a distance, Tonse Alliance torchbearers, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM, seem to be dancing and eating together, peacefully, at the high government table.
However, if you take a closer and deeper look, you will note that the two are not united because each, separately and silently, is maneuvering the other in the political game of wooing more people to their respective folds.
Simply put, MCP and UTM are together but not united.
In fact, the two, politically speaking, will barely unite because there is an intrinsic ego that runs separately in them; one that gives each side a sense of superiority over the other.
MCP, as an organization, has a traditional ego of seeing itself as a resiliently bigger party and, sometimes, they feel that with careful strategic politicking on the ground, they can, in the next elections, succeed without UTM.
UTM, on the other hand, does not have an institutional ego. Their ego is personalized in their charismatic and fearless Saulos Chilima who touts himself, and analysts agree, as a kingmaker.
But to ask who, between MCP and UTM, is mightier than the other is akin to asking which, between the left and the right hand, should be chopped when presented with such an unlikely question.
For the good of Malawi democracy and, again, the health of the alliance, it is important these two hands are kept—because, in them, there is a spirit that runs within that makes these two hands support each other involuntary.
However, this is politics—it is irregular as it is controversial and contradictory. Politicians are driven by two appetites: either to get power if they don’t have it; or to keep it if they have it.
MCP and UTM should fight, yes; but not destructive fights that dims the alliance. They should fight on the ground with a focus of uniting the energies needed to retain the presidency within their fold.
But if the two doubt the might of the other, well, let them prove they can fight, as family, and see who wins big in the coming by-elections shortly.
There are three by-elections on the cards: in Karonga, Mangochi and Lilongwe. Two of the seats were already in the hands of MCP and the one, in Mangochi, was in the hands of DPP.
The beautiful aspect in these elections is the protracted battle between friends, MCP and UTM, and, at the journey’s ends, it will be interesting to see who the cap fits.
In all the drudgery of this fight, this battle boils down to one painful but truthful fact: Will MCP prove its might over UTM?
Truth be told, after these by-elections, the political tone and favour will fundamentally change in Tonse Alliance and that, ladies and gentleman, will define the fate of President Lazarus Chakwera’s government.
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