PP’s bark ‘dogs’ such as Uladi Mussa should stop angering the youth of Malawi, who form a big chunk of the seven million voters on the roll, by wantonly hacking at Atupele Muluzi not for what he stands for, but merely his age.
PP should realise that this is exactly the same thing that DPP’s Noel Masangwi did when he put his foot in his mouth and peddled his full blown ignorance in the public domain by saying Malawi was not ready for a female president in an apparent reference to the then vice-president Joyce Banda.
Malawians from all walks of life rejected this backwardness and, as we would have it, fate put the icing on the cake when Joyce Banda ascended to the presidency last year, courtesy of the death of Bingu wa Mutharika and the set constitutional order.
With this, I would have thought PP would be the last to try to be against someone running for presidency based on discriminatory criteria such as the age of Atupele or marital status of Peter Mutharika.
I would be interested to know the views of the PP young leaders on this. Do they agree with their leaders that they should not be allowed to come to the leadership table or contest for presidency merely because of their age?
Yet, one wonders where people like Uladi Mussa are getting the bravado to say Atupele cannot be president merely for his age when the Constitution has already dealt with that.
Are they saying they are above the Constitution by the mere fact that they are in the ruling PP, a party that Malawians have not even endorsed in any election, but found itself in power as a beneficiary of death?
But I have got news for PP. While they are busy shouting their lungs out on irrelevancies against Atupele, the young man is gaining ground; first, for conceiving ideas and secondly, crystallising them into concrete policy proposals for presentation to Malawians.
If PP does not believe me, they can send their people to Atupele’s rallies. If that is not good enough, then they can read an interview that Anthony Kasunda had with Atupele in this newspaper last week.
And guess what? Atupele has even managed to get the public to debate some of the issues he is bringing to the fore such as his proposal to follow up on his father’s 1994 introduction of free primary education by making secondary education also free to many able Malawian youth who may fail to access it due to poverty.
If I were a PP strategist, I would not waste my breath attacking Atupele’s age but would want to see any sign of immaturity in the proposals, if any. In plain simple straight-forward language, what is the response of PP, for example, to free secondary education? Are they for it or against it and why? Why not ask Atupele to cost it and ask whether Malawi can afford it or where he thinks he would get the money from? Why not ask him about quality which was somehow compromised in 1994 when his father introduced free primary education?
For goodness sake, PP must know that we are in the 21st century when elections are supposed to be won on ideas not on senseless vitriol.
Malawians are not just interested to see how Uladi Mussa foams on the mouth shouting out nothings about people’s ages and marital status. While it is good to hear, it adds nothing to people’s lives.
By merely harping on non-issues, PP is attempting fate and like we all saw in April last year, it can come back with the vengeance of the capricious gods.