Some months ago, in this column, I did write about the death of the once mighty Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
I remember the beating I got from some staunch DPP loyalists who claimed I knew nothing about the party and I was an agent of the devil sent to confuse the masses that support Peter Mutharika’s party.
I also remember the praise as compliments I got from some misguided Malawi Congress Party (MCP) diehards who basically thought that finally, someone was on their side. Quite strange.
My argument remains that the DPP is a party on the death bed and if it continues to be run the way it is currently being run, there shall be no resurrection of the party in 2025.
Events in the past bear testimony to the political status of the DPP, a party those who truly believe in democracy thought would be a vessel through which the voices of the poor Malawians will be carried. This is a party that many Malawians thought would be able to offer checks and balances to the excesses of government—it was expected of the DPP that it would keep the government of President Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse alliance partners on their toes.
Maybe people expected a lot from a party that has all along been managed as a personal asset of the Mutharika family. Maybe, for lack of better options, DPP was thought as a party that would represent the interests of Malawians and bring them to the fore. Unfortunately, the internal party bickering going on, is a sign that the party is chaotic and not ready to govern again.
One would have thought that three years after their defeat at the ballot box, DPP would have picked itself up and formed a formidable party ready to challenge Chakwer’s corrupt government.
With only a year to go before elections, the names being mentioned as potential torch-bearers for the DPP do not inspire hope at all. Chief among the names that ought not to be associated with politics anymore, is that of Peter Mutharika. Can the DPP let APM rest please? He has done his part and should let others do their part too.
The time, resources and energy spent on muscling each other in the DPP, should be spent on uniting the party from the grassroots level to the top.
Malawi needs a strong opposition that is able to constructively criticise the government. It is sad that at the moment, Malawi lacks a strong opposition voice. I do not want to sound oil an alarmist, but the current status risks taking this country to the old one party era, God forbid.
There is a need to jealously guard our democracy, and one way to do so is by having a strong opposition voice and a strong Civil society voice– will these have sort of been muted for reasons best known to themselves while others have been muted with appointment to embassies.
To APM, as a leader, inspire hope in your party and followers by first, condemning the jostling happening in the party and then declaring that you won’t be standing in 2025.