Malawi: Mixed feelings on Bingus 2014 successor

The recent Nyasa Times story about the looming succession crisis in Malawis governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has opened a can of worms and many Malawian opinion makers as well as ordinary citizens have expressed different reactions in contribution to the debate.

In a vox pop by Nyasa Times several Malawians interviewed have come up with mixed feelings including die hard supporters of the ruling DPP.

The succession in DPP will indeed rock the party to its very limited foundation and signs are clearly showing now that there are two if not three camps that have emerged with deputy president Joyce Banda fondly dubbed JB by her fanatics leading one faction; Prof. Peter Mutharika leading a Mulhakho wa Alhomwe camp while Speaker of national assembly Henry Chimunthu-Banda is being favoured by the central and northern region crew of the DPP.

In the last article the Nyasa Times exposed the list of main contenders for the position of the countrys top most job and leading the pack of favourite candidates was the presidents brother Prof. Peter Mutharika who is undoubtedly a distinguished scholar having taught International and Economic law at various reputable universities around the world.

However, according to the story, Mutharikas hot contender for the position is the incumbent deputy president Joyce Banda who has popular support among the partys rank and file.

JB also enjoys the support of most young women between the ages of 17 and 40 and looks at her as their role model.

Ranking third was Chimunthu Banda who most supporters of DPP describe him as very stable and humble always willing to support others in times of need and whenever problems arise.

Chimunthu Banda further enjoys a broad base support of his senior colleagues in the DPP as well opposition UDF and MCP parties.

As regards Goodall Gondwe everyone even those of the Mulhakho sect admit that he is the best to have happened to the DPP, more especially when he managed to steer this country through very difficult economic misfortunes.

His fellow northerners describe him as the best compromise candidate that all northerners would support. But Gondwe however is seen as a political novice who might not address the political needs of the electorate.

James Nyirenda speaking from Vongo, Rumphi said, we would support Goodall as president or Vice presidentwe expected he was going to be Mutharikas running-mate and most of us voted for Mutharika because of Gondwe because the president has done nothing here.

We voted for DPP because of Gondwe, Harry Mkandawire, Khumbo Kachali. We were cheated that one of them was going to be second Veep after the elections but nothing has happened. We want Gondwe in 2014 or we will not vote for DPP, explained Kondwani Jere speaking from Kafukure, Mpherembe.

A Ngoni chief who spoke on condition of strict anonymity for fear of reprisals explained that they were cheated by the paramount chief Mbelwa IV that one of their sons particularly Goodall was going to be the running-mate.

Later he added they were told that he is going to remain finance minister but nothing has happenedbanthu awa mbatesi bakuti gwiriska waka ntchito ngati ngombe za chikochi kale (These people are liars theyve used us like the oxen that pull the ox cat), said the chief whilst concluding that in 2014 Gondwe and Joyce Banda would be better candidates for their DPP.

Another respondent from Nkhata-Bay central constituency Aaron Kawechi Chirwa expressed disappointment that no one from their sons and daughters were included in the line up.

Chirwa disputed that Joyce Banda was from Nkhata-bay but that she is married to a man from the district former Chief Justice, Richard Banda claiming that in their tradition a married woman from another district cannot assume leadership roles.

He expressed hope that there is expectation that Chimunthu Banda will partner with the vice president in 2014 ruling out the young Mutharika completely.

The young Mutharika should not be there because his brother has been president for two terms and weve seen what he has done in these years. He has ill-treated our sons and daughters, look at Ken Zikhale Ngoma, Kasambaras, Ralph Mhone, Khumbo Chirwa, Aleke Banda, and so many others, concluded Chirwa.

In her email response to the news that Bingu is widely expected to hand over power to his young brother, a Malawian resident in Georgia, USA Lazarus Phambala said allowing President Mutharika to impose his brother would be a third term for him.

He said during the past five years Mutharika has been in power, the economy has stabilised and there is abundant food following the fertiliser subsidy.

On the other hand Malawi has witnessed elevation of the Lomwe tribe at the expense of all other majority tribes in terms of employment, access to facilities, socio-economic development and business opportunities.

I dont agree with the school of thought that promotes the young Mutharika to be the next President because the Mutharikas in five years have turned this country upside down. They have employed their nephews, cousins and brothers from Thyolo without shame. All key positions in cabinet, in government departments, in police, in intelligence security, in diplomatic service and everywhere it is the Lomwes in control, lamented Phambala from Atlanta, Georgia.

All businesses are now run by relatives from Lomwe land, one business tycoon with the help of the president is slowly but surely buying the whole country. What will happen if the Mutharikas continue to be in power? The whole country will now be run by one district Thyolo because to them it is just Lomwes and relatives who matter, others are like toilets to use during inconvenience time, commented Nadine Zabweka in the last article.

Zabweka further described the Mutharika brothers as cruel saying that they believe in piece work politics where they use people for an assignment and dump them thereafter even without any tangible reward.

Zabweka explained: The Mutharikas are very cruel people as you can judge from their treatment of all those people that have helped them to be where they are today, beginning with Bakili Muluzi, Friday Jumbe, SalimBagus, Kasambara, Zikhale, Uladi Mussa, Gwanda Chakuamba, Harry Mkandawire, Henry Dama Phoya, Henry Mussa, Davis Katsonga, Rev. Malani Mtonga, Jafari Mussa, and the long list continues of people that have helped Mutharika but have now been used and discarded into the dust bins like condoms.

The young Mutharika has also come under fire for his unpopular marriage proposal in the just ended budget sitting which the DPP dominated house gave consent to 16 year old girls to get married.

If you have professor of law promoting under age marriages when medical research has warned against the same; and when the same professor of law is pushing cases through courts when he knows that there is no evidence then such a person cannot be a good leader because he should be able to advise his brother to keep away from persecuting innocent persons, observed Zabweka.

Several Malawians even those die hard supporters of the ruling DPP have expressed considerable disappointment because of unfulfilled expectations and a cruel disposition where they find the President bullying innocent citizens by word and action.

Most Malawians have contrasted the charismatic and affable leadership of Muluzi to that of Mutharika which is punctuated by threats or intimidation and always telling citizens that Ill arrest you or ill do this bad thing to you.

Meanwhile, the succession plan in DPP will remain a source of instability if the imagination that the presidents brother will take over the mantle because this will result into several disrupted political careers of highly qualified persons who may be still waiting on the wings to succeed the incumbent president Mutharika.

This expectation is highest in the Veep who may be looking at herself as an automatic successor.

Post published in: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *