Let us face it, the only purpose the so-called rebels from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are now serving in their pursuit for whatever cause they are advancing is eating a slice of whatever chance the party has of making the next government.
Whatever might have motivated their rebellion against party leader Lazarus Chakwera and united the trivalent of Speaker Richard Msowoya, Secretary General Gustave Kaliwo and former outspoken publicist Jessie Kabwila against the party—what is clear is that their cause—whether good or bad—has ran its course.
The national elections—which MCP have not won since the country ended the one-party autocracy—time is running out for MCP to put its house in order.
With that in mind, very precious few, will have any sympathy for those whose cause—whether justified or not—has done so much to divide the party and delay any attempts to rally behind one goal—making the next government.
Events this week, in court and in the party’s corridors of power, have left the rebels—for want of a better term—wrong-footed.
First, the party’s highest decision-making body, the national executive committee (NEC) voted to comply with a court order to reinstate the three in the party.
And somehow, that apparent good gesture or political trap withstanding —depending on which side of the political fence you sit—the rebels’ decision to immediately dismiss the party’s olive branch smacks of hypocrisy when all along—their chief demand—before any unity talks were held—was the returning to pre-conflict positions in the party’s politburo.
To insist on fighting after such a gesture was falling into an obvious trap. Very few MCP supporters would countenance further rebellious action when the party is calling for a convention touted as the lasting solution to the party’s woes.
Now the highest court on the land has ruled against the rebels stayed an injunction
Look, now the Msowoya camp will be seen as fearing an obvious fate at the convention. Many, have speculated—and one add the rebels have done little to make this less apparent—that one of their motivations was fielding the challenge from new comer and Mr. Moneybags, Sidik Mia.
Well, they might cite protecting constitutionalism in MCP but we all know for a fact, too, that if the spirit of the constitution was followed to the later, Kaliwo who was not voted for but was appointed by Chakwera would not have been the party’s CEO.
And what do you think the ordinary folk, who doesn’t follow the legal trivia the MCP is embroiled in, makes of Msowoya when all and sundry once commended Chakwera for ensuring not only was Msowoya picked at first as running mate amid a big pool of wannabes in 2014.
Won’t the man on the street consider Msowoya a bit ungrateful or greedy to continue waging the war of attrition against Chakwera?
Of course, the good Speaker can say he is fighting a righteous cause but is the lack of constitutionalism in MCP so glare that it’s worthy sabotaging the party’s chances of making it in 2019?
Msowoya and company should tread carefully. For once, they must step into the shoes of those poor ordinary MCP supporters who elected them and test their reasoning.
Now that the DPP, once mighty and impregnable, is now facing serious challenges of their own including questions over an internal leadership challenge and predictions that it could be ejected from power in 2019—based on the last poll by respected pollster Afrobarometer—most MCP supporters are heartbroken to see the state of the party today.
Those diehards will see Msowoya and company increasingly as impeding the party’s march through the various court restrictions.
Well, that is according to common reason. But truth be told, Msowoya and company might have legitimate cause. They might be running out of steam now, though.
It’s also imperative that Chakwera and company, for the sake of the party, also lend them an ear, and together strengthen the party.
But when the MCP rebels step into the feet of the party’s supporters, regardless of the justification of their cause—they will realise that maybe their cause was justified but it has ran out of ammunition.
If this was a vehicle f0r change, it has ran out of gas. Continuing this fight deep into the campaign period will be an unpardonable sin especially if DPP goes on and win the 2019 elections.