JB and Jerry Jana
Joyce Banda and Jerry Jana her running Mate

Written by Patseni Mauka

Have you ever wondered how secret lovers exchange Valentine’s Day gifts? How does a married man hide a Valentine’s Day gift received from MG2 (side chick) so that MG1 (main wife), does not see it? It’s not easy. It needs experience because having a concubine has to be the best kept secret.

As Malawian official and secret lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day, Malawi political parties are also secretly dating and giving each other Valentine’s Day gifts. With the presentation of presidential nomination papers now over, it’s time to have a serious look at the presidential candidates, their chances of winning this year’s elections, secret love affairs with other parties and possible intentions for running.

The presentation of nomination papers revealed the running mates for each presidential candidate. What was not revealed was the politics behind the decisions for some of the candidates to run for the highest office on the land.  We know the presentation of nomination papers included candidates who have no chance whatsoever of winning the presidency. Candidates like Joyce Banda, Prof John Chisi, Cassim Chilumpha, Atupele Muluzi can not win elections. What is their interest? Why spend two million Kwacha on nomination fees when they know they can’t win? There are reasons and benefits.


President Mutharika and Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi

Atupele Muluzi and United Democratic Front (UDF) partnered with the Democratic Progressive Paty (DPP) in a governing coalition after losing the 2014 elections. He was rewarded with different ministerial positions and he is the current Minister of Health and Population. The main objective of the coalition was to help DPP push it’s agenda in parliament. That objective has been achieved and there is nothing more for the coalition to continue.


Many months from the beginning of the electoral alliance talks, DPP and UDF failed to come to an agreement. According to sources, the DPP’s National Governing Council (NGC) was against the idea of selecting Atupele Muluzi as a running mate. Some of the NGC members thought that if they opposed Atupele’s selection, they would be selected as running mates. They were shocked when Mutharika selected little known Puppet Everton Chimulilenji who was imposed on Mutharika by his wife and bodyguard.

Until this year, not a lot had been heard about Atupele in terms of his ambition to be president of Malawi. He surprised many when he collected and presented nomination papers for this year’s elections. Atupele is still the Minister of Health and Population. This means as a Minister, he will be contesting against his own boss.

Political campaigns require that you convince voters to vote for you and not your opponents. It also requires that you find weaknesses for your opponents and discredit them. It’s not a business that you can do while you remain buddies, not during the campaign period. With the current arrangement between Mutharika and Atupele Muluzi, does anyone seriously think they can mount an effective independent campaign that includes serious acting as opponents?

It seems to me that Mutharika and Atupele are operating on some political and  financial arrangement. Mutharika is desperate about winning the next elections and will do anything to win. The last thing he wants is competition. It’s illogical to think that he can tolerate a political opponent within his cabinet. The only explanation for Atupele’s continuation as a Minister while contesting as president is that UDF and DPP are secret political lovers and probably exchanging gifts today on Valentine’s Day.

As for Joyce Banda and Cassim Chilumpha, sources say they received fifty million Kwacha each from DPP to get out of the coalition with UTM. Their running for the presidency is just to save face and help their secret political lover, DPP, with it’s strategy of making sure strong opponents like UTM do not win the elections. Nutty Professor John Chisi is already known to be in the pocket of DPP.