Former Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) president Kamlepo Kalua last week announced that he has joined the ruling People’s Party (PP). In this interview, Paida Mpaso asks Kalua to explain why he has dumped the party he founded in pre-democracy Malawi.
You said you joined PP because you want to help government find solutions to the challenges the country is facing. Can’t you do this while in opposition?
It would not be possible [to help government find solutions while in opposition]. You cannot promote such ideologies outside a ruling party. You need to be in the circles to promote an ideology.
What are these ideologies that you think you can bring into PP?
There are issues of modernising the whole country. You know, things are changing around the world and there is a need to move along with this change. We need to modernise our political structure.
Isn’t this decision motivated by greed?
It is not greed when you want to work with a [ruling] party to develop a country. It is also not greed when you want to partner a party with an intention of sharing and interacting with colleagues. I am looking at developing this country and these are not my own interests.
What is your plan for PP?
Like I said, I want to be part of the change. I want Malawi’s status to change and develop. We all know Malawians are facing some challenges and I would like to work with this government and try to come up with a solution.
You founded MDP, how can you abandon your party?
There were people there [in MDP] and there are structures. So, these structures must…take care of the party. Now I am told there is someone acting as party president and I think this is good progress. As a country, we have the founder syndrome. We believe that parties should belong to the founder, but I want to give a chance to other people to take the leading role. I wish my former party all the best.
Prior to the 2009 elections, you partnered with UDF and now you are with PP. Do you think people will take you seriously?
I did not join UDF, I just partnered with it. As for me being serious, let me not say much about this. As earlier pointed out, my interests are merely to help in easing the economic burden on the people.
How exactly are you going to ease people’s burdens?
I would like to influence political change. There are issues of water, electricity and other areas which I feel need to be modernised so that Malawians should begin to feel the change. I am not going to impose the change; I am going to express my interest and share my ideologies with the president and the people.
Don’t you think people will see you as someone who has no direction?
Some of you people; how old are you? The freedom that you are enjoying now was fought many years ago by people like me.
Did you know that I was one of those people who opposed the third term? Do you know that I was one of those people who changed the Constitution? Then I was a member of the National Consultative Council where I did these things. The list is endless, and I cannot be telling you of what I have done for this country.
But do you think you are still relevant politically?
You people, is there anyone who is irrelevant? Let God be the judge of that, because I don’t think I would still be here if I was not relevant. Now you are provoking me. So what if people think I am irrelevant, are they saying I should be killed? Why are people saying all these, is it because I have joined a party?
For God’s sake, I am only a member of this party and I am free to do what I want because I know I am relevant. My family is proud of me and I am proud of myself.
I know all those who want to sabotage me, and I know their motives. They want to bring me down because they know the political destruction I can bring to them. But I will do what I want, I will form what I want and be what I want.