MCP, you have not won an election yet

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) rally on Saturday at Ngabu in Chikwawa has been hailed by many to the extent that some said it reminded them of the good old days when the Lion of Malawi, Kamuzu Banda, was able to pull such multitudes.

The MCP leader, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, should indeed get the credit that for the first time in three years, he was able to say everywhere I look; I see people, people, people.

It is also fine with us on the street that, the MCP leader should feel proud to have addressed such a big gathering in the Southern Region—a region politically shared between United Democratic Front (UDF) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Word on the street does not dispute that MCP’s new catch Sidik Mia who was unveiled at the rally in Ngabu is a game changer and will strengthen the party.

But does the event call for celebration, partying all night long? Hell, no!

Events in Ngabu last week should just remind us all of what a Russian-born American thinker Anatol Rapoport wrote in one of his essays that ‘there is a crucial distinction to be made between the facts of “natural phenomena” (eg biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) and those of “man-made phenomena” (eg politics, war, etc).

And here is the distinction: man-made phenomena are influenced by what we think or say about them. Natural phenomena cannot in any way be influenced by our thoughts and beliefs.

So even if you do not believe in the force of gravity, you will still fall to your death if you jump off Chayamba Building in Blantyre. That is a fact of physical science.

But whenever you find yourself saying “that is a fact” in discussing politics, then you should remember that politics is a man-made phenomenon. And, as such, what appears to be a “fact” today may well be invalidated tomorrow.

I mention all this just to set a perspective on the widely held assumption by overzealous MCP supporters—being spoken of as a “fact” that the roping in of Mia, therefore means Chakwera will win with a landslide in 2019 Tripartite Elections.

The capture of Mia, a former MCP, UDF, DPP, PP member, has indeed sent shivers down the spine of APM, and his ruling DPP, but it does not mean MCP has won an election.

So cut the noise, because we have been there before when Gwanda Chakuamba and his Mgwirizano Coalition, thought they had won through public opinion, only to lose at the ballot.

Word on the street is that, there is a lot that MCP leadership has to do to rebuild the party, and win an election again after 53 years.

The first thing to be on Chakwera’s bucket list should be to resolve internal conflicts and leadership wrangles. There is too much noise from the MCP camp that Chakwera should quiten and we on the streets believe roping in recycled politicians will just worsen matters.

Word on the street is that, the MCP leader should also think about roping in the youth in its leadership positions, before the party turns into another ‘Silver Grey Foundation’.

Assumptions can be dangerous. Amayi lost the election in 2014 because of many assumptions such as no sitting president in democratic government has ever lost an election and that the JB brand was so popular that it could not at the time lose an election. But as it turned out, these “political facts”, were merely myths and suppositions or maloto a chumba.

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