Malawi Congress Party (MCP) may be grappling with an exploding political bomb now, but Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is nurturing its own cataclysmic political bomb. Look, it’s now become abundantly clear that MCP vice president Richard Msowoya has fallen below the pecking order in the choice for MCP’s veep, let alone, running mate to President Lazarus Chakwera for the 2019 polls.
All Msowoya and his team are doing now is what any frustrated politician would do after an already lost battle to retain his veep’s position within the party. It’s now a question of Msowoya reconciling with the brutal political reality that his ambitions to become the country’s Vice President are hitting a cul-de-sac. How far Msowoya’s frustration will damage MCP chances in 2019 remains to be seen.
Now, while political analysists are busy reading into MCP brewing wrangles, the Weekend Nation today has given us an impression of an even bigger political storm awaiting the DPP. In the story, “UDF quagmire over 2019 poll”, there are smoldering frustrations among the UDF members over the party’s indecision to feature a presidential candidate in 2019.
According to the party’s spokesperson, UDF will not settle for the running-mate position. And Lucius Banda, Balaka North legislator, added, “If Atupele comes out of the DPP relationship, I will support him, but if he is not clear, I will be forced to contest against him in order to save the party from dying.”
This is bad news to DPP. Here is how.
In an attempt to add numbers to its fold and fend off stiff competition from MCP, DPP is seriously banking on swallowing UDF and rest of its eastern region base. They even extended a hand to PP but Joyce Banda has snubbed them. But would UDF campaign itself hoarse for DPP’s Peter Mutharika in return for a mere ministerial position for its leader, Atupele Muluzi? A position without any security? The point is, Atupele hopes and thinks he has what it takes to be running-mate to Peter Mutharika in 2019.
But while Mia is on course, Atupele has some political mountain within his party and DPP to overcome. Will Lucius Banda, Ken Ndanga and the rest of UDF membership give Atupele a go-ahead to partner Peter Mutharika in 2019 polls? The other question could be, will the DPP gurus, accept Atupele to become running mate? Now, the most difficult question, will Peter Mutharika settle for Atupele at the expense of Saulos Chilima? This is the dilemma awaiting Peter Mutharika and DPP.
Sticking with Chilima will obvisouly leave Atupele frustrated. Atupele will consequently be forced to stand as presidential candidate on the UDF ticket and deny Peter Mutharika the much-needed votes in the eastern region. And that will deal DPP chances of re-election in 2019 a shattering blow. Imagine DPP without lower shire and eastern region vote versus Chakwera who will likely command a lead in the central and northern regions.
But leaving out Chilima will also have its own consequences. The Vice President could embark on a political move that could all but torpedo DPP’s chances. After all, there is nothing wrong Chilima has done to deserve a snub from Peter Mutharika is 2019.
So, yes, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) may be grappling with an exploding political bomb now, but Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is nurturing its own cataclysmic political bomb.
*Fletcher Simwaka is a political commentator