By Grecian Lungu
The news that had been rumored in different social media platforms, offices, villages and towns regarding the withdrawal of People’s Party (PP) president Her Excellence Dr. Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda (JB) from 2019 presidential race and her subsequent endorsement of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera was confirmed last Thursday afternoon at a joint press conference held at Crossroads hotel in Lilongwe led by MCP and PPs’ secretary generals Eisenhower Mkaka and Ibrahim Matola respectively.
On Monday, March 18, 2019, leaders of the two parties again held a joint press briefing at Golden Peacock in Lilongwe to confirm to the nation what their secretary generals have had said last Thursday.
Dressing in her glamorous national wear with her usual scarf on her shoulder, JB cleared her throat to unwrap what people had been waiting for and no sooner had she skirted around than she repeated pronouncement of her withdrawal from the forthcoming presidential race and her unconditional endorsement of Chakwera.
‘I have withdrawn from presidential race, this is for the good of this country since this country is small and can only develop by foregoing our personal egos and work together,’ that’s the statement that Banda used to open her speech.
Banda told the journalists who turned up to this event that her decision comes after a thorough consultations, lengthy discussions at the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting as well as her own good will for this country as she has forgone her personal ambitions and joins MCP to help in bringing a government of unity that will see Malawi developing.
Banda further says this endorsement follows a series of meetings Banda have had with Chakwera in USA as well as those she had with Sidik Mia in South Africa where they discussed numerous means of redeeming this country.
In his acceptance speech for the long overdue endorsement, Chakwera says he’s much excited with JB’s bold decision which has shown that she has a heart of seeing Malawi people living a happy life and he has emphasized that MCP as a party will make sure that all parties will work as an isolated party but with emphasis of providing an oversight guidance to good running of this country.
The announcement of Banda’s bold decision has ignited mixed reactions especially among the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members and mostly among the United Transformation Movement (UTM) party members who blame MCP for allowing PP to endorse her.
But is this endorsement good to MCP that it can add any value? Hopefully yes for a number of reasons as follows:
Votes added to MCP
In as far as election is concerned, every vote counts, and the endorsement that JB has made of late has pushed further a number of MCP votes in this coming election, whether the votes will be five (5) or over five hundred thousand (500 000), it is just ok to them.
Some shallow minded laymen in politics think JB has no any support bringing in her long stay in America after her loss in the 2014 tripartite elections and her failed alliance with UTM, but these have very less impact in as far as consolidation of one’s votes is concerned.
During 2014 tripartite elections, JB amassed over a million votes and for someone to claim that she has lost this political stamina it’s a complete fallacy as there are a lot of people who until today supports her as witnessed in her rallies as well as during the time she was presenting her presidential nomination papers to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
It also remains a fact that during her tenure of office as Malawi’s leader, JB initiated a number of developmental and charitable programs and projects which remain significant up to date and the beneficiaries of such programs and projects still rate her highly and do have confidence in her to the extent that the recent IPOR report established that she remains the highest trusted leader.
To just single out some programs where the beneficiaries still praise JB for, we had the Mudzi Transformation Program that saw many poor people being given a fully fledged decent house.
There was a Give cow program where thousands of people benefited to that program as well as that program where youths were given motorcycles.
The Malawi Rural Electrification Program (MAREP) where we saw many rural areas reached with electricity as well as the Malawi Rural Growth Centres which beautiful markets were built.
Everyone in Malawi knows that it was during her tenure where we saw electricity blackouts that had been haunting us coming to an end and we even rejoiced the return of donors who had disappeared during Bingu’s time.
If someone can fail to recognize the power of these afro mentioned developmental programs and projects in influencing voting pattern, then that’s one’s self suicide as we have witnessed people getting carried away to a mere shaving style of beads and beauty of one’s wife in their voting decision making.
Forming government of unity
For the past years, many Malawians had been asking opposition parties to team up and form a comprehensive block that should crumble down the thievery government of DPP and only that because some opposition parties feel they are more powerful than MCP and due to their egos, they failed to agree with the terms and conditions of MCP in forming a formidable block, however, JB’s endorsement comes as a welcome idea to many Malawians who don’t want to see DPP continuing with its mission of finishing this country through stealing of public funds, and now these people have however leaned to MCP which has indeed fostered her pillar of Uniting Malawi in Chakwera Hi 5 through its open door policy.
Many people have praised JB for swallowing her pride by withdrawing from presidential race and joining Chakwera in a mission of redeeming and building a new Malawi, thereby, giving MCP their votes.
Building confidence in more voters
JB’s endorsement has again helped many people to develop confidence in Chakwera as the only hope for the death bed Malawi since there are still some people world over who relies on prominent people to make decisions for them and in a circumstance where the whole Former President of this country endorses Chakwera and that from now onwards until the end the of campaign period she will be visiting them in their localities to grilling them on the need to vote for Chakwera and MCP, MCP should lest be assured that these people will surely vote for it come 21st May, 2019.
Comprehensive electoral monitoring
MCP has again gain an advantage in electoral monitoring as both MCP and PP have fielded both parliamentary and ward councilors in almost all constituencies and wards across the country which means that these shadow MPs and Councilors shall provide the much needed security of Chakwera votes.
As highlighted above, overlooking this endorsement entirely is a mere fallacy drawn out of jealousy, ego, unpatriotic and lucidity.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post