Emily Mkamanga
Emily Mkamanga

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is the largest opposition party in Malawi and its president Lazarous Chakwera is the leader of the opposition in the August House. Without doubt the party expects that very soon it will be in power of a multiparty government. This is possible and it can be achieved as early as 2019.

Therefore, there is need for the party to start preparing now. What is of paramount importance is for MCP to see to it that it maintains people in key positions, especially those who have been royal to the party and the party President.

While welcoming new members, those that come with preconditions must be avoided. For example, some people would only join MCP if promised to be in the executive.

Such people are not genuine supporters. Meanwhile there is a strong rumour that Mr Sidik Mia is trying to join MCP with an intention of being a running mate.

It is only party President Chakwera who can confirm whether or not the rumour is true.

Nevertheless most issues in Malawi start as rumours. If it is true that Mia will be a running mate to Hon Chakwera, then one wonders what happens to Right Hon Richard Msowoya who is the Speaker of parliament and MCP Vice-President. Needless to say that Msowoya has served Chakwera and the party well with dedication and loyalty.

Probably Mia is taken on the assumption that he is the Shire Valley king pin, therefore, he is expected to bring lots of votes and MPs to MCP come the 2019 elections. But based on the 2014 figures, the Shire Valley i.e. Chikwawa and Nsanje had possible votes of 300 000 and a total of 11 MPS.

In comparison, Msowoya comes from a region of about one million votes and 33 MPs. This shows that MCP would lose a lot by abandoning Msowoya.

What Hon Chakwera should know is that in the Northern Region people vote as a cohesive block. Due to the very poor performance of the DPP led government, the people in the North are likely to vote for MCP. This can be more so if Msowoya remains as the running mate and Veep for the party.

Failing which MCP will lose the support from the regions. Meanwhile, with all due respect if indeed Mia is putting MCP to ramson that he can only join the party as a running mate, honestly this weakens the party as members start dancing to the tune of individuals.

Furthermore, it gives bad precedence. Next time it might be another person wanting to join MCP only as a party treasurer then the list goes on.

The danger with such people is that when they want to leave, they do so when the party needs them most. Malawians can remember so well how Mia resigned from the position of Minister of Transport and Public works as well as from being Peoples Party (PP) vice-president for the south.

Regrettably, this was on January 24 2014 when President Joyce Banda and PP were at the peak of their campaign for the May 2014 elections. MCP has a chance of getting into government as long as they play their cards well.

The current poor economy under the Mutharika administration which has been brought about by massive corruption and uncontrollable stealing of taxpayers’ money makes Malawians to crave for an alternative government to DPP.

MCP should not waste time with petty squabbles instead the party has to fight very hard that come 2019 there will be a level playing field and that all election systems are transparent. Then MCP will be home and dry.