The two main governing Tonse Alliance partners—Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party — has put a positive spin on the recently reported tussle over the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf) loan facility, saying in a statement that the alliance is “unified in its approach to development.”
MCP spokesperson Rev Maurice Munthali and UTM publicist Joseph Chidanti Mlaunga in a joint statement on Wednesday September 9 2020 said the nationwide Tonse Alliance is enthusiastic that their collective project “to clear the rubble and build a new Malawi is not only on course, buts also progressing as a collaborative and consultative effort with our partners.”
The statement comes hot on the heals of remarks by MCP second vice-president Harry Mkandawire declaring that MCP supporters in Karonga will be prioritised in the Medf loans disbursement because President Lazarus Chakwera is the party’s leader.
Mkandawire said he was reacting to UTM Party secretary general Patricia Kaliati’s visit to the district’s Medf offices to collect loan forms.
University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political science lecturer Mustapha Hussein pointed to a possible conflict within the Tonse partnership.
He said in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper: “There is ambiguity of the partnership relating to how these parties should conduct themselves when there is competition. Since both parties are in government, if left unchecked, this rivalry may bring confusion which can easily turn into conflict at the lower level.
Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi) executive director Sylvester Namiwa in a statement made available to Nyasa Times also observed that the current squabbles predict a ticking bomb between MCP and UTM Party.
In Parliament, Leader of Opposition, Kondwani Nankhumwa said that Malawians are left to wonder whether this is a Tonse Alliance government or just an MCP government.
Nankhumwa said even some Tonse members have already started raising the red flag that Tonse is slowly degenerating into “Ndekha Alliance.”
But Tonse Alliance statement said it is a “false narrative” being advanced in the public domain by opposition politicians insinuating that there are divisions within the alliance.
Reads the statement in part:“Contrary to the wishful thinking of the opposition, leaders of the Tonse Alliance, namely the MCP President, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, and the UTM President, Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima, who are also the State President and Vice-president respectively, are united in their resolve to work together in cleaning up the nauseating mess created and left by the past regime [Democratic Progresive Party –DPP].”
The statement said it is their principal and “unanimous resolution” as the leading partners of the Tonse Allaince to forge ahead as one in approaching and handling all development matters in the interest of and as a service to all Malawians without regard to party affliation.
MCP and UTM said they commit to do so out of their shared conviction that the Tonse Alliance represents the will and aspirations of all Malawians, “as well as out of our shared awareness of the contributions made by Malawians within and outside the Tonse Alliance to our electoral victory at the polls of June 23.”
Tonse Alliance declared that it is gaining more political ground as many Malawians “who were misled into supporting the past regime [DPP] are joining our patriotic movement in droves.”
The nine-party Tonse Alliance, with Chakwera as torchbearer and UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima as runningmate, won the June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election, defeating Peter Mutharika who had ruled the country since 2014.
The two parties have in recent weeks embarked on strengthening their bases, with each welcoming Councillors and legislators into their folds, predicting an interesting situation prior to the 2025 polls.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :