Written by Patseni Mauka
In anticipation of a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) election loss on 21st May, Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has started bidding farewell to government stakeholders including diplomats, the private sector and civil society. Gondwe, who several times called leading presidential contender UTM’s Dr Saulos Chilima ‘a baby who cannot win elections’ has finally realized that Malawi’s political landscape has completely changed with the emergency of UTM.
Yesterday’s Nation on Sunday Newspaper reported that at a European Union Day in Lilongwe, Gondwe stunned the stakeholders when he said he could be speaking at such a function in his capacity as a cabinet minister for the last time, as he was not sure of the outcome of the elections.
As quoted by the newspaper, Gondwe said, “I have a confession to make. Very late yesterday, when His Excellency [Peter Mutharika] asked me to be here, being a much-endangered species that I am now—not knowing what will happen to me on May 21—whether my party wins or not, I am still an endangered species.” This is an utterance of a confused man who fears an impending election loss.
Just seven months ago, Gondwe could not have said this. He was so arrogant and confident that his team of fellow retirees will win the 2019 general elections. After the unprecedented campaign by UTM led by Dr Saulos Chilima and Dr Michael Usi, Gondwe has realized that DPP will lose elections.
Gondwe is the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president for the North. He is one of Mutharika’s most trusted ministers. That such a senior member of the DPP politburo has almost already admitted defeat in the coming elections is a big sign of what is happening at the centre of power in DPP.
While DPP cadets are trying their best to conceal the panic that has gripped the soon to be opposition party, senior members have already given up on victory. They know the end of DPP’s impunity and arrogance has come.
Gondwe and Mutharika are failing to catch up with the campaign marathon because of old age. The president has failed to campaign properly. When he manages to campaign for a day, it’s just a few whistles stops and then he takes a break for three or four days. Yet this year’s election is very competitive.
On Sunday, Mutharika was supposed to conduct whistle stop tours in Salima and Dedza districts but his programme was postponed with state house official communication citing ‘other urgent matters to be done by the president’. Later the DPP social media team circulated a photo of Mutharika ‘after a meeting’. No proof was given on the date of the photo.
All other presidential candidates are campaigning every day with Chilima doing almost 8 whistle stops a day. Mutharika is obviously not fit for campaign. Neither is he fit for a second term of office. A second term of office for him would be a prison sentence because evidence is everywhere that he is old, frail and finding it hard to fulfill his presidential engagements.
Perhaps it’s time that Goodall Gondwe changed his statement and say; the presidency is not for people who hit retirement age 20 years ago and will be 100 years old in the next 20 years.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post