By Kelvin Sulugwe
The infighting in the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is a very good sign that the party is democratic, but needs an independent crisis management, damage control team If you asked me.
I would be very slow to tell you why I have decided to write this piece today, but it has to be enlightened and I have taken a very sober minded stand in what is happening in the party right now.
At first, I was very concerned with the ongoing fights that have given birth to factions such as that of Richard Msowoya, Gustav Kaliwo, Sidik Mia and Jessie Kabwira, but now.
I decided to take it from another angle. This is a sign of mature democracy in the party. It means MCP is indeed very democratic and that people are able to take different stands against matters, unlike other parties where blind loyalty is the uniform for patriotism. It should be noted that in a democracy, everyone is able to express his/her views, but at the end, it is the majority view that prevails.
The majority will speak at the coming convention, for now, here is what I wish to put forward. For starters, it was very disturbing when a letter written by the Vice President Hon Richard Msowoya leaked to the media.
One should be of the view that such high profile communication should be safeguarded with the utmost confidentiality the two sides can afford. I will not stand here to accuse a side that leaked the letter, because I have no idea who did.
It might be the side of Hon Msowoya who leaked it to buy public sympathy or it might be the other side that leaked it to make Msowoya less matured. We move on. Then, after the letter, came the decision (not officially communicated) that the party decided to fire Kaliwo, suspended the rest.
The most disturbing occurrence was the fact that even party youths were pictured going to the headquarters, carrying banners that called for the blood of Kaliwo out of the party.
This is where I am afraid and like some people have observed, indeed, MCP lacks political strategists that are able to manage party crisis. What happened, if the firing is true and the news of possible impeachments are simply wrongs that will be added to the first wrong, of Vice Presidents letter being leaked to the media.
In the end, two wrongs do not make a right. We will sink from one level to another and at the end; we will be bruised to the ground. What people like me expected were not meetings to fire the other fractions. I will explain something later on that. Sometimes, political moves should not be very obvious.
When they become very predictable, we the opponents can easily lead the way, while making it look like we are the ones making such decisions. When Sidik Mia first joined the party and the rumours for possible fights started going viral, MCP hosted a political rally that had all these giants together.
That was very brilliant and it pained our major opponent to that fact that he changed direction of trying to disturb the party. MCP is a big threat to Progressive Democratic Party (DPP). I can say this a million times even in my sleep. It is the party that Malawians are looking up to.
Let me tell you something. No matter how the DPP can try to convince Malawians of the atrocities of MCP, we will come to one fact, the people who did such atrocities are no longer in MCP.
Hon Dr Lazarus Chakwera was not there when MYP terrorized Malawians. Hon Msowoya was not there, just like Hon Eisenhower Mkaka, Jessie Kabwira and most of the current MCP members were not there when this happened.
On top of this, not many people who are bound to vote in 2019 were there. I was young and never felt whatever people describe about MCP and I know there are lots of people like me who were not there.
Ofourse I can remind you some of the people who were there in such a time and I can easily bring to memory people such as Hon Nicholus Dausi, Hetherwick Mtaba and Dr Bakili Muluzi. They were there and of late, Hon Nicholus Dausi has received his compensation package for being there.
Today, he stands on a podium and saays he will reveal what MCP did. I can’t wait to hear what he did. Now, it is evident that what we have is a transformed MCP, with completely new ideas.
God has served the party and cleansed it. He has chased the bad omens, most of who run to DPP and are now standing on podiums and promise to reveal what they did in the name of MCP of their time. Someone is very afraid and it is at this point that MCP needs to be very serious in decision making and strategies.
I suggest, since it is already a rumour that the vice president has been fired, it remains such, let MCP fire and suspend no one. Instead, conduct three massive rallies in the north, central and south.
Tell people that we understand of the infighting currently rocking the party, but the party is working on it and very soon, everything will be sorted out. Tell people no one has been fired or suspended make sure that at such rallies, all the people should be present.
Invitations should be extended to Richard Msowoya, Kaliwo, Kabwira and the rest of them. Let there be no impeachment at parliament and pretend like nothing happened. This will indeed be a new song for a democratic party in Malawi.
If someone has eaten money from DPP, they will be put to shame, especially if they refuse to attend such rallies. Such a move will cripple all efforts for public sympathy and will send a strong message to people that MCP is ready to govern. Then we know that at the end of the day, general convention will say it all.
Believe me, Kaliwo is not a threat and I doubt he can even win back his post at general convention, the same way I doubt he can be of use to DPP. What they are enjoying now is fame and platform that party decisions are giving to them.
They don’t deserve such a decision and it is love and tolerance to their noise that will cripple them, if indeed they are making noise.
No matter what, Dr Chakwera should not be afraid, he has the support of many and come convention, he will be elected president once more. Sidik Mia also has more chances of beating Msowoya nice and clean to be the vice president.
Kaliwo can’t beat Mkaka on Secretary General Posts. In the end, these are simply my views, anything can happen. It is my prayer that MCP will now think of having a crisis management and damage control team, far from the NEC, an independent party body that should come in to sort out issues involving the NEC members.
Dr Chakwera is no way in a position to chair a meeting involving him and his vice president Msowoya. Again, party youth, with no political understanding of crisis management and winning strategies should not dictate what happens to people who speak against certain party decisions. We want to win in 2019 and we can only do it by being democratic, like we have always been.
Lastly, let not MCP be pushed to an early convention. We will do it when time comes. Long Live MCP, Long life to Dr Chakwera.