Spoken words have a date and duration, which does not change what has been spoken or written.
But this is not so with it meaning. Once speech is delivered, no one has control over what it meant, it means and it will mean.
To generate the meaning of spoken words, the context matters.
It would be blasphemy to say former first lady Callista Mutharika’s assertions about Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s suitability for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidency and the future of Malawi is prophetic. However, few things stand out.
That Chilima has the potential to rule this country cannot be questioned by many. He has demonstrated his leadership acumen elsewhere, even in the corporate sector where he excelled before switching to politics.
That he can lead Malawi better than Mutharika is subject to debate.
One thing the nation can expect is that Chilima would have a different work ethic from President Peter Mutharika’s.
Whether that would improve the well-being of Malawians, I cannot confidently argue here.
What the widow of fallen president Bingu wa Mutharika has said cannot be unsaid. This is the beauty of time and change.
In this life, the only thing that is permanent is change; everything is in a state of flux.
Aged 81, President Peter Mutharika knows he is not here to stay as leader of Malawi. Change is bound to happen. It is a matter of time.
What Callista has said and written is over, but nothing changes its multiple interpretations of meanings on the social media, print and electronic media.
Although what she has said can be interpreted differently- depending on the premise one stands-we have no control over the correctness or wrongness of what she said unless we choose to be naïve and inattentive to contextual issues.
When Calista was asked why she thinks Chilima is the better presidential candidate, her response was loaded.
Only clever minds in DPP and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) can decode the deep meaning from Callista that this is not the time.
Time will come when not just Calista, but many Malawians, will give reasons why Chilima has to lead DPP and Malawi.
She alleges the Vice-President is a better person than “some of these people we are hearing about”.
In “some of these people” I can loudly hear her denunciation of even the MCP president Lazarus Chakwera. If I were Chakwera’s political aide, I would stand up to him and change the game.
I do not want to think Calista is talking from the blues.
She has seen something and even if Chilima has not considered running for the big office, this gives him more impetus to do so.
Of course, if I were Chilima, I would be very careful on how I want to rise to presidency.
On DPP ticket, yes, but…. As an independent, yes, but…. With a small party, yes , but….
Chilima is undoubtedly a potential presidential candidate, and far much better than the incumbent.
However, he cannot assume the office on a silver platter. He needs good political machinations.
Presently, Chakwera stands a better chance of becoming the next president. He already has a defined constituency under MCP.
Although the only thing that is permanent is change, it is doubtful that DPP cadres would rally behind Chilima as their party’s presidential candidate. It is not yet time for this change in DPP.
DPP seems to believe so much in the kinship and lineal leadership of the party. Anyone from outside the Mutharika family or the Lhomwe belt is a “gentile”.
It would require a clandestine automation for Chilima to win the hearts of the Lhomwes.
Calista’s political prophecy should speak louder to MCP than DPP. Chilima coming on the scene would redefine the political battle field.