Insults cannot consolidate power

The elections fever is slowly dissipating as all ears tune to the Judiciary through the Constitutional Court to give further directions on the election disputes.

As expected, there is an abundant amount of tears of sorrow and for a short while there were moments of subdued excitement, until recently.

Those disheartened by the results of the May 21 elections have found ways of dealing with the heartbreak, one of which has been denial and a strong conviction that the vote was stolen and fortunately, the Constitution does not dictate how one should mourn a loss, or celebrate a win for that matter as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.

Some mourning, in the form of physical protests, has on several occasions brought parts of the country to a standstill, the whole Capital Hill no less, innocent Malawians have been harassed and their property destroyed.

While on the other side of the country the UTM president Saulos Chilima was appealing for calm and asking his supporters to hold their anger at those responsible for the shambolic manner in which the elections were held, the winning candidate, President Peter Mutharika and several others spilled vitriol and made a mockery of the losers in their time of mourning and anger.

At the victory rally held at Njamba Freedom Park on Sunday, a message that should have been delivered by the Secretary General of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and president of the party was instead made by the vice president for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa.

He has not been as the most articulate politician in the DPP, even with his background in journalism. He has tended to fumble with words and failed to convey political messages, especially at political rallies.

But what he has not lacked is a sense of decency in his words, an attitude that comes with emotional intelligence, in knowing the right words to utter by gauging the mood of the receivers of the message.

His composure and speech at Njamba belied a man who with all intents and purposes should have been gloating about the DPP victory. Listening to the tone of the speech, one would have thought he was not pleased with the DPP win.

Instead, the content of his message succeeded in erasing from the minds of Malawians, the divisive remarks which the likes of Nicholas Dausi uttered that day.

When President Mutharika followed, voicing social media memes uncharacteristic of the man, it became apparent that he should leave the mockery and insults to those who can do it without losing their sense of maturity.

The likes of former President Bakili Muluzi could lead such buffoonery and the country would move on and he should not want to be in the same category as the former president.

Nankhumwa is an ambitious and youthful politician who plays his cards close to his chest. He is no accidental politician and he is a man that any politician within the DPP should befriend, the sooner the better.

Nankhumwa should be the man that new Vice President Everton Chimulirenji should keep on his side. It is advisable to keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

The road to 2024 will be brutal in the DPP ranks, it will get dirty and it will get ugly. Any smart politician would do well to begin to consolidate power at this early stage.

It is well and good to laugh and enjoy President Mutharika turning into another Muluzi but he has little to lose, he can insult election losers all he wants because this is his last term.

But the political careers of those in the DPP high ranks has just began if they have ambitions of leading this country one day—and Nankhumwa has embarked on his final journey. He must know that if you are unpopular in the party, be popular with the people that matter: the voters.

By thanking voters without insulting those that did not cast their vote for DPP, he has gained the respect of some Malawians and he knows it. The consolidation of power in the governing DPP has well and truly started.

Share This Post