By Mankhumbo Munthali

Social and political commentator, Mankhumbo Munthali is unpacking insights behind the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) wrangles. This is how Munthali has outlined facts behind the tension in the oldest party.

1. The reason MCP seems to prefer Sidik Mia to Richard Msowoya is because Malawi Congress Party (MCP) thinks Chakwera-Mia combination is better off than Chakwera-Msowaya combination in as far as chances of winning 2019 elections is anything to go by. This is coupled by the “monetary prowess” of Mia which they think is strategic in funding MCP campaign.

2. MCP does not prefer Mia to Msowoya based on principles. If you ask any MCP supporter who supports Chakwera-Mia combination: why do you prefer Mia to Msowoya?

They will not tell you that Mia is a man of principles, with a sound political track record(or someone with a vision to transform Malawi) . All they will tell you is, “we need him to shake the lower-shire and South to support MCP in 2019. Besides, we need his money for campaign”.

If truth be told, these MCP diehards know deep down their hearts that -just like one Ken Lipenga or Mpinganjira – Sidik Mia is also a recycled politician who lacks principles.

3. It is not true as suggested by some MCP diehards that the reason MCP or Chakwera is preferring Mia to Msowoya is because Msowoya has done nothing to make the party popular (especially in the North).

Even if Msowoya had made MCP popular in the North with the coming in of Mia he wouldn’t have been considered for the running-mate.

This would however not been because Chakwera hates the North or Msowoya (as i had ably argued a few weeks ago that i have not seen any trait of tribalism or regionalism in Chakwera) but rather because the current thinking within MCP is that apart from North and Centre they need to penetrate part of South (especially lower shire) in order to overcome DPP in the next elections.

These MCP strategists think that while you don’t necessarily need to get a running-mate from the North in order to win the North vote(Refer to 2009 and 2014 North voting patterns), they think Sidik Mia would add value in bringing the much needed votes from Lower-shire and Muslim community hence stand a better chance of winning the elections.

4. It is not true as suggested by some quarters that Richard Msowoya is a champion of “constitutionalism” in MCP in the face of his boss who seems to have no regard for that.

While it is true that Msowoya has recently used the party Constitution to check Chakwera’s dictatorial tendencies on how he has handled the recent wrangles in the party, precedence suggests that Msowoya is not what his sympathisers believe him to be (a staunch defender of constitition in the party) but rather he is fighting his personal battles (political survival for running-mate).

It is well-known truth that Msowoya remained mum (silence may mean consent, they say) when Chakwera started flouting the party’s constitution in the way he handled Kaliwo, Kabwira and the team. No where did we hear Msowoya condemning (as a defender of party constitutionalism as his sympathisers wants us to believe.) his boss for going against the party constitution in the way he handled the so-called rebellious group.

During this period Msowoya was secured that he already had the running mate position and in a typical Afican way of politicking he had to be loyal to his boss.

It was however until when Mia announced his joining of MCP when Msowoya changed tunes. Taking advantage of Msowoya’ insecurity Kabwira and Kaliwo joined Msowoya in a rally in the North where they declared their allegiance to Msowoya as MCP 2019 running-mate.

Since then Msowoya found an ally in Kaliwo-Kabwira and others in pushing for both his own political survival as runningmate in 2019 and of his allies. Otherwise, if there was no Mia-factor i tell you Msowoya would not have been in Kabwira-Kaliwo camp. Bwenzi naye atayima pangodya za “obedience, loyalty and discipline” while his boss and party are raping the party constitution.

5. As i had said last time, the fact that MBC and DPP gurus are sympathising with Msowoya-Kaliwo camp by giving them positive coverage does not necessarily mean they believe in intra-party democracy or constitutionalism. Rather they prefer to face Chakwera-Msowoya combination to Chakwera-Mia combination in 2019 elections. Chakwera-Mia combination is politically bad news to them.

When all is said and done, the question remains do these political settlements mean anything to an ordinary Malawian? What is the place of the ordinary poor Malawian in Lupembe (Karonga), Thyolo or Ntchisi in these political settlements? Whose interests do these political settlements serve?
Yesterday at 6:44pm