We hear you Callista but those who seek equity must come with clean hands

Callista Mutharika:  Chilima-for President crusade

A few days ago former First Lady, Callista Mutharika made a statement in a WhatsApp group chat of former Members of Parliament (MPs) to the effect that she prefers State vice president Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima to president Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika as DPP presidential candidate in next year’s presidential candidate. In her view, the governing DPP would not win next year’s elections if the party maintains the incumbent as its presidential candidate.

Her sentiments were first expressed through a WhatsApp forum chat among former MPs and newspapers, television and radio stations, something which has attracted a lot of eyebrows and comments particularly on the social media.
Many theories can be furthered as to why the former First Lady would want to be critical of her own political party and indeed her own ‘mlamu’, president Mutharika through public forums.

It is highly likely that this (the comments and criticisms of the president) is only a symptom of a much deeper family malaise. Callista has most likely been displeased with how certain elements of her relationship with her brother-in-law are panning out. This is underlined by how she has chosen to go public with her criticisms; a fact which also renders credence to assertions that this is more of a family matter than a political one.

Whatever the case is, the former First Lady should not have gone public with her criticism (or opinion whichever way one choose to describe it) in the manner that she did. It says more about her levels of integrity and sense of reasoning. To begin with, she was married to President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s brother and founder of the DPP, the late President Professor Arthur Bingu wa Mutharika, and there can never be shortage of channels

To communicate such thoughts through a WhatsApp chat group where most of participants are also not DPP and probably have nothing to do with the DPP, is an insult to the integrity of President Mutharika, Malawians and the DPP. Callista’s ranting have the hallmark of being a highly emotive family issue and the former First Lady has no business dragging all Malawians into her family issues. It is unfair for her to use Malawians as a collective Trojan horse to settle outstanding family scores.

Callista Mutharika claims to be a ‘senior’ member of the DPP owing to her being wife to the founder of the party. She therefore must be aware that the DPP is a highly organized institution with structures and well defined reporting trees that she could have exploited to channel her grievances. The party is also a very democratic institution, which will most likely hold its national convention anytime before elections next year.

If the former First Lady is genuinely passionate about Chilima’s candidacy, she must be free to encourage the VP to use the national convention to gun for the top office in the party rather than her random approach.
Her recent actions say a lot about the lack of respect and regard for the integrity of the organization that she claims to speak for and represent.

The former First Lady must understand that not everyone hates President Mutharika and that there are millions of Malawians who do not share the loathing of her own bother-in-law. There are many people (in DPP and outside the party) who love Prof. Mutharika and consider him their leader and President. They also consider him deserving of all the respect as President of the Republic of Malawi.

Madame Callista should, therefore, have exercised better judgement before taking her grievances to the public in such a disrespectful manner. The last thing she wants is to wash the dirty family linen in public, because it is not in the best interest of the party; of the family and certainly not in her best interest. She may be enjoying a false sense of glory at the moment but when all the chips are down, she would be the one to be hurt politically and otherwise.

Going by the history of multiparty politics in Malawi, presidents often fallout with their second in command on issues that cannot be immediately defined. Bakili Muluzi fell out with Justin Malewezi in the twilight of Muluzi’s presidency; late President Bingu wa Mutharika did not see eye to eye with his deputy Dr. Cassim Chilumpha from the onset of their presidency, and later dropped him in his second term in favour of Joyce Banda. The later Mutharika later also fell out with Joyce Banda who later fell out with Khumbo Kachali when she became president following Bingu’s death in 2012.

The Mutharika/Chilima presidency is the only one that appears to be holding out and certainly slated to escape this curse. Just recently, for example, President Mutharika delegated Chilima to represent him at a huge world business symposium in India where he was also a keynote speaker. Just a few days ago, Chilima was also with his boss at the official opening of this year’s tobacco sales at the Auction Floors in Kanengo, Lilongwe.

This underlines the good relationship that exists between Chilima and Mutharika as President and Vice President of the Republic of Malawi. The best (or the worst, depending on how you look at it) that Madame Callista Mutharika’s sentiments can do is to sow seeds of disunity in this otherwise cordial and perfectly working relationship.

As much as the former First Lady may be bitter (with what we don’t yet know), the last thing she needs to see is the feuding Peter Mutharika and Saulos Chilima. Again, it is not in her best interest.

The former First Lady must understand that DPP, as a party, is much larger than any one individual. By this fact alone, she should have carefully thought through her lines before going public, or taking to WhatsApp and the media to spew her ill-timed vitriol. She must understand that she was wife to Bingu wa Mutharika during the time that he was also arguably hated by most Malawians.

The questions that Madame Callista must begin to ask herself should be what was her role, or contribution, to the presidency that time. Did she play a positive role?

Malawians remember that when she was First Lady, Madame Callista said that people in the villages do not care about fuel shortages because they do not own vehicles, when she pretty well knew that people in the village have motorbikes that operate on fuel and that they also rely on diesel-powered maize mills for survival on top of using paraffin extensively for lighting.

It is on record that as First Lady, Madame Callista went out of bounds and indulged in partisan politics where, among others, she publicly made derogatory remarks against former state Vice President, that time, Joyce Banda, describing her as “mayi wa mandasi”.

They say ‘those who seek equity must come with clean hands’. It is clear that Madame Callista’s pronouncements about President Mutharika may not have been made with entirely good intentions. The whole facade about Chilima and the DPP could just be a smokescreen to hide her real intentions, which may be more sinister than Malawians imagine. She therefore must be treated with suspicion and disdain that she deserves.

 

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Mochanga
Guest
Mochanga

1. Does Callista have personal reasons with peter? Probably.
2. Is Callista using TRUTHFUL FACTS to advance personal agenda? Very possible
3. Does this nullify the TRUTH she is using? NO WAY. SHE IS ONLY ADVANCING IT.

Truth doesnt care who advances it in its advancement and rebuke.

Jiro
Guest
Jiro

I hate DPP down to the bone, but I second the writer wholeheartedly. I don’t trust the madame

TRUMP
Guest
TRUMP

Ooo oh God please Remove the scales of blindness from the eyes of my fellow MALAWIANS so that we can see that BUSHIRI IS the Answer to the hardships the country is facing otherwise We will regret like never before in human history THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN IS NOW MAY GOD BLESS OUR LAND PLEASE PAC CHIEFS CHURCH LEADERS INVITE BUSHIRI TO COME AND GOVERN THE COUNTRY AS WAS THE CAUSE WITH KAMUZU THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN IS NOW

Macbeth
Guest
Macbeth

. . . ‘a tale, Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.’ Callista raised some interesting issues and questions. Why do we allow ourselves to be side-tracked into speculating about her motives and hidden agendas? I suppose the answer is simple: most of us are not really interested in reading serious articles about the political, economic, and social issues that determine our quality of life. We would rather read about celebrities and personalities – and the more salacious the story the better. By concentrating his attention on the messenger rather than her message, the writer is… Read more »

Hatton
Guest
Hatton

This is the work of opposition, more especially MCP. They believe the only way for MCP to penetrate the lhomwe belt is by DPP fielding a candidate that does not come from the belt. You have seen how Milonde voted without high profile campaign meeting. The Milonde voting reduced Miaquake to Miatremer. That pattern will be prevalent in the belt with Peter and not with Chilima. That is what is troubling MCP. The 500 votes that the MCP candidate got would have proceeded to vote for APM and note Chakwera in a presidential vote and this is a fact. PP… Read more »

batson
Guest
batson

It is a well written article and the issues discussed are OK. However, I also want to point out to the author the following points. To begin with, the first lady has argued that the current president is too old to run the affairs of the state. None can dispute this fact for we all see this. It is the very same reason we have the mandatory retirements age in the civil service. What’s so special with him??? The second point I wished the author tackled is to do with the family as he has put it. What if its… Read more »

Bwantasa
Guest

Alemba iziso ndachisiru…Zamkutu….

CHIPYERELO
Guest
CHIPYERELO

Are you not aware that the wife of Nigeria’s President Muhamadu Buhari Aisha Buhari publicly declared she wont vote for her husband in the next election because she felt he has failed the country?

Biggi Saj
Guest
Biggi Saj

If I were a DPP person, I would thank Madame Callista. Whether there are family shortcomings or vengeances, the message is for the good of the party. Look at the embedded deep divisions it is now bringing to light. Who knew DPP radical national youth director Ngalande was against president APM standing again in 2019? What about vociferous MP from Lomwe belt, Bon Kalindo? Many more are now mounting courage and will be coming out of their cocoons. An interesting movie, callista has put on the deck. Now who has eggs all over her face? one gloria kachere(a pseudonym, definitely)… Read more »

Jinja wa a Divala
Guest

Zomvetsa chisoni kwambiri, a mayi Gloria. I expected clear reasoning from Gloria and not reliance on patriarchy and norms of democratic civility which have no place in a true democracy. Why shouldn’t dirt linen be washed in public? Does expressing a different opinion constitute hate these days still? what exactly are you protecting by not wanting to discuss these matters in public? What proof do you have indicating the nature of the president and vice president working relationship which is so sufficient that we should sit idle and wait for God to give us another damn president, and I doubt… Read more »

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