Written By Kelvin Sulungwe
Not that I wanted to comment on this, but am constantly being asked by friends to say my opinion.
What is bothering me is that even my MCP brothers are tagging me in posts to talk about UTM’s primaries yesterday. Typical of reptiles to call for opinion they can’t stand. Well, for starters, it was very open to see that most of UTM’s updates on their primaries were being disseminated by their opponents.
I fault them (UTM). They should have put in place a very strong network to monitor and manage what was happening and give minute by minute updates. That would have been fair. Instead, what we heard were twisted and bent occurrences that suited the needs of the opponents. They saw an opportunity and utilized the moment.
For some of us, people who are able to read between lines, we read the propaganda and emptied it immediately. Thanks to Zodiak for bringing us closer to what was happening on the ground. Check their page. Now, without emotions, if you look closely at what happened, you will see that UTM has on average scored way better than the other two parties.
What the opponents raised were embryonic concerns that the primaries were hit with low turn out and some irregularities. On the issue of turn out, I think people need to be reminded that what UTM conducted yesterday were primaries, not general elections.
There are delegates responsible to vote and this usually depends on a given constituency. In some places numbers are high while other places have few numbers. It’s expected. For instance, in Mchinji South West during MCP primaries, winner Mr Gumba got 745 votes against the opponent Levie Gwede who got 140. (Malawi24, September 11, 2018).
Now, this is Mchinji where we can’t deny MCP’s superiority and we have a combined votes of 885, does this represent the figures that MCP will get in the constituency during the main elections in May?
So, why then would we say because some winner at UTM primaries got 340 votes, therefore, that person is not popular and will not win in that constituency. People, whatever you are smoking should highly be regulated. Then to the issue of organisation and some fights here and there. What did you expect? Angels to conduct the primaries? That has been an issue in most parties. Happens even with ANC in South Africa.
However, I wish to bring this forth, UTM has dared the rest and to single out MCP, an opponent who has been very vocal of the young party lately, I wish to remind you that while you could not field candidates in the Lhomwe belt, UTM just did. That speaks volumes of how national the party has gone. According to Zodiak, there were a lot of places that conducted primaries and things moved smoothly. The few places had minor problems. It was a big exercise. I have requested information from UTM so I can share. We should all see these statistics.
Now, it takes me to my next thoughts. Like I said before, UTM as a party is not bigger than MCP and DPP and I caution shadow MPs for UTM to tread carefully if they are to make it, meaning, they should work extra hard as individuals to win. A DPP candidate in Thyolo might not really have to struggle to be voted, thus because DPP is bigger and popular in Thyolo. Same with MCP in some parts of the central region. This will not be the case anywhere for UTM. People will have to demonstrate individual strength to win seats.
But again, I said, Chilima as a candidate is more appealing and stronger than Chakwera and APM.
It is not by chance that he fills venues everywhere he goes. It was not by chance that Malawi was at a standstill when he conducted a press conference few months ago. It is not by chance that he came third in that survey by our learned brothers at Chanco despite launching UTM within few months of the survey. Chilima is the guy MCP, DPP members will hate publicly and admire privately. He is the guy that people will be tempted to vote for even when they don’t belong to UTM. It happened with late Bingu Mutharika in 2009. It can happen with Chilima in 2019. An odd numbered year for odd happenings
My prediction remains the same, in 2019 people will vote for a candidate and not really a party. We will be up for great surprises.
Lastly, I just don’t get it. I don’t get it at all. Look at this, MCP says it wants to take out DPP by all means possible, yet when it comes to Chilima, they silently say “bola DPP yomweyo, uyu ayi.” Musamatiseweretse.
Disclaimer: Am not UTM and I don’t intend to join UTM or any other party, including DePeCo that I once was part of. Am taking an independent stand to criticize everyone independently. Fair elections for all.