Bakili Muluzi
Former President Bakili Muluzi Image copyright Getty Images Image caption

Bakili Muluzi, Malawi former President says he can prophesy; that the MCP and UTM alliance which he refers to as the new marriage will end in two months. You can argue but I am a greatest political Prophet.

People that are familiar with the two parties and their philosophies also do not see how this alliance can work. The hatred of the Malawi Congress party of Lazarus Chakwera with UTM followers a party that mainly grew from disgruntled DPP founders and supporters cannot be denied by objective Malawians.

The Evils perpetrated from the Kamuzu Banda Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are unspeakable to many people in Malawi. 

Cabinet Crisis of 1964 in Malawi

Students supporting Dr Banda soon after cabinet crisis in 1964

The Cabinet Crisis of 1964 in Malawi occurred in August and September 1964 shortly after independence when, after an unresolved confrontation between the Prime Minister, Hastings Banda (later Malawi’s first President) and the cabinet ministers present on 26 August 1964, three ministers and a parliamentary secretary were dismissed on 7 September. These dismissals were followed by the resignations of three more cabinet ministers and another parliamentary secretary, in sympathy with those dismissed. Initially, this only left the President and one other minister in post, although one of those who had resigned rescinded his resignation within a few hours.

 The reasons that the ex-ministers put forward for the confrontation and subsequent resignations were the autocratic attitude of Banda, who failed to consult other ministers and kept power in his own hands, his insistence on maintaining diplomatic relations with South Africa and Portugal and a number of domestic austerity measures. It is unclear whether the former ministers intended to remove Banda entirely, to reduce his role to that of a non-executive figurehead or simply to force him to recognise collective cabinet responsibility. Banda seized the initiative, firstly, by dismissing some of the dissidents rather than negotiating, and secondly, (after the resignations) by holding a debate on a motion of confidence on 8 and 9 September 1964. As the result of the debate was an overwhelming vote of confidence, Banda declined to reinstate any of the ministers or offer them any other posts, despite the urging of the Governor-General to compromise. After some unrest, and clashes between supporters of the ex-ministers and of Banda, most of the former left Malawi in October with their families and leading supporters, for Zambia or Tanzania.

One ex-minister, Henry Chipembere went into hiding inside Malawi and, in February 1965 led a small, unsuccessful armed uprising. After its failure, he was able to arrange for his transfer to the USA. Another ex-minister, Yatuta Chisiza, organised an even smaller incursion from Mozambique in 1967, in which he was killed. Several of the former ministers died in exile or, in the case of Orton Chirwa in a Malawian jail, but some survived to return to Malawi after Banda was deposed and to return to public life.

The Cabinet Crisis, sometimes referred to as the Revolt of the Ministers is one of the most important but also most controversial episodes in the history of independent Malawi. Many of the contemporary documentary sources were written by expatriate diplomats and officials who were not close to the ex-ministers, and in some cases antipathetic to them. These accounts have been contradicted by the autobiographies, often written long after the event, of the ex-ministers themselves, although these are also inconsistent with one another. The principal published works quoted rely on a mixture of documentary sources and interviews with participants, both African and expatriate, and suggest that the crisis arose in a political culture that permitted no dissent, and treated attempts to debate issues as plotting.

Remembering the Assassination of the ‘Mwanza Four”

The Assassination of the Mwanza Four on 18 May 1983.

On the 18th May 1983, three cabinet ministers and a member of parliament were assassinated by agents of the Malawi Government led by Malawi Congress Party (MCP). These were: Hon. Dick Matenje (MP) the Minister without portfolio and Secretary General of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP); Hon. Aaron Gadama (MP) the Regional Minister for Centre; Hon. Twaibu Sangala (MP) the Minister of Health; and Hon. David Chiwanga (member of parliament for Chikwawa-East).

There are various theories which have over the years emerged to explain why the four would have therefore been eliminated ‘under orders from above’ as it has been alleged.

Others have written that the four were probably killed for internally opposing Dr. Banda’s ‘unpopular’ policies and dictatorship.

It is said that for instance, they had heavily criticized Dr. Banda on the inexorable rising of John Tembo (uncle to Mama Cecilia Kadzamira) in various government positions and the role of Mama Cecilia Kadzamira the State House Official Hostess.

The brief reminder of the evil rule of Malawi Congress cannot be swept away by an alliance with no leader at the moment and no clear Goals of improving Malawi except dislodging DPP from Power.

Today embattled Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, one of the leaders of the headless alliance, has said the UTM-MCP alliance marks the start of a new journey to State House.

Clearly showing that he has ambitions to be the leader of the alliance, it is very unlikely that Lazarus Chakwera will surrender that position easily. His first move was to purge MCP with lifetime members. Ask Chatinkha Chidzanja Nkhoma, ask Jessie Kabwila and many others.

Chakwera and Chilima

Embattled Chilima said this on Thursday during the so called UTM-MCP alliance signing ceremony at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe.

Chilima claimed the alliance has the welfare of people at heart and has the capacity to change this country meaningfully. Saulos Chilima’s history as Vice President even when the relations were good with President Peter Mutharika does not show any achievements even though he was given the responsibility to transform the country.

His supporters will say he was just Vice President. However, can he name proposals he took to Mutharika and were rejected? Malawians should heed to the saying “Grass is always greener on the other side”

Director of events at the signing ceremony Bon Kalindo at the Stage-Island “Our alliance is not founded on personal or individual ambitions. It is

not an alliance of families. It is not an alliance of tribes. It is not an alliance of regions. This is an alliance of Malawians,” Chilima said.

However independent observers know this is an alliance of two ambitious individuals, Chilima who stabbed Mutharika in the back and Lazarus Chakwera left the church to wrestle the leadership of Malawi Congress Party from John Tembo and has shown autocratic tendencies since he took over the Party leadership.

The Bible says Lazarus of Bethany was the brother of Martha and Mary and lived at Bethany, near Jerusalem. When Lazarus died, he was raised by Jesus from the dead after he had been entombed for four days. This miraculous raising of Lazarus from the dead inspired many Jews to believe in Jesus as the Christ.

However, our Lazarus has risen after suffering two defeats by the Miracle of 5 corrupt ConCourt Judges. He is no miracle worker but a very ambitious man who kept a pay raise for himself when the likes of Peter Mutharika surrendered theirs after an outcry from Malawians. Since losing the Elections in May of last year, he continued receiving his pay from Parliament until he was caught with his pants down, Is this truly our savior?

Speaking to the crowd of mainly young people many of whom will not vote, Chilima emphasized that the alliance will bring sanity to the country’s politics since it brings together all Malawians.

This coming from people that refused to accept defeat in an election declared fair and above board from SADC and other international observers.

He also pleaded with all the parties in this alliance to forget about the past and forge ahead. Who should forget the murders of cabinet ministers? Truly he is not asking the Families of Gadama and Matenje to forget.

“This is not the time to be reminding each other about the past. Let us all work together without poking at one another,” he said.

Chilima also clarified that the alliance does not mean UTM Party has sold the party, saying “UTM Party remains UTM and MCP remains MCP”.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. – Abraham Lincoln

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