The beginning of the end for PP

At the height of its popularity, People’s Party (PP) was the political grouping that most politicians strove to belong to, save for those Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members who owed their loyalty to the spirit of their fallen leader Bingu wa Mutharika.

By its nature, PP was in its infancy and very slow to adapt to the political machinations that are prevalent in the run up to elections, and with less than 18 months after coming into power, the party had little time to grow.

Like any other party or entity hungry for power and control, PP welcomed every greedy person that knocked on its doors and by these actions, its fate was sealed.

When President Joyce Banda lost the elections in 2014, it was easy for her to abandon the party because she and many others had very little vested interest in it.

Everything that has happened in PP from the moment Joyce Banda took off from Malawi and never looked back has come to this: a party that has lost trust in its own members of Parliament (MPs), a party literally clutching at straws in its attempts to remain relevant.

Slowly, PP has managed to chuck off its members, whether deliberately or by their own making but it is no longer the opposition force that could ostensibly start side by side on strength with the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Since 2014, PP has lost too many MPs to either through involuntary removals or the members themselves silently withdrawing their membership and being seen at political rallies of other parties.

The firing of its interim leader Uladi Mussa was just another one of inevitabilities since 2014, the ousting of Ralph Jooma as vice-president for eastern region is a big loss but inevitable as well.

These removals, and so many others before, have not changed the downward trajectory that PP has been on from the time it managed to secure a meagre 26 seats in Parliament.

This is because PP has been without a leader for close to four years and the leadership wrangles have only weakened the party outside Parliament.

The party has come full circle that it can no longer appoint an interim leader within its ranks as it waits in vain the coming of its president.

The PP constitution states that in the absence or incapacity of both the president and the first vice-president, duties of the president shall be performed by the second vice-president, or in his absence, the third vice-president.

As of Monday, the party has filled the positions of vice-president for the four regions but it still failed to appoint an interim leader. How the party expects all vice-presidents or the secretary general to lead boggles the mind.

Could it be that the party secretly wishes to appoint the new vice-president for the eastern region, Banda’s son Roy Kachale, but it fears the backlash from the public?

Is it perhaps that the national executive committee and Banda herself has no faith in the long serving executive member of PP in Kamlepo Kalua to ably lead the party in her absence?

It is pointless to ask when Banda will be returning to the country, her absence is clearly not being felt by PP members or the public in general.

The party has simply become a shadow of its former 2012 self and by all indications there is no going back.

PP has lost its structures save for those areas which have active MPs, the foundation is heavily shaken and it is just a matter of time before it crumbles to the ground.

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