A popular African proverb affirms that one head cannot carry the roof of a house. The Maravi Post, therefore welcomed the news on Friday February 1st. 2019, that the leaders of four political parties, namely UTM, Peoples Party, AFORD and Tikonze Peoples Movement, issued a signed Joint Communique, announcing their unified fight serves to further cement victory in the coming Tripartite elections on May 21, 2019.
This is a bold move and The Maravi Post, commends the coalition, which we appreciate has taken numerous meetings and behind the scene negotiations. While some of these were reported, many more were in camera and away from the information mill.
The parties, through their leaders admit to recognizing the importance of unity in achieving development goals of the country, and that is in the best interest of the ordinary Malawians. This, the communique acknowledges was important irrespective of political differences and ideologies.
What we find appreciable is that the electoral alliance of the four parties, greatly reduces the number of political parties and candidates that were to represent their candidature papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe on Monday February 4, 2019. The communique states that the four political parties will present and support one presidential candidate.
The reduced line-up of presidential candidates will mean less of a burden for the voters as there will be less candidates to choose, less unpacking of the overload of fake news that have gone viral on Malawi’s social media.
The Maravi Post therefore, commends the group photo of the signatories of the communique. They are UTM President, current Vice President Saulos Chilima, Peoples Party President, who is Malawi’s former State President, Joyce Banda, President of Tikonze Progressive Movement Mark Katsonga Phiri, , and Enock Chihana, President of AFORD.
In the face of so much fake news making the media circuit and on social media, we believe the photograph authenticates the joint communique.
We join, Chilima, Banda and Chilumpha in encouraging supporters from the political parties to accept the coalition, work with their leaders jointly to achieve victory on May 21.
On their part, the leaders promise to provide further details later at a press briefing. We find the result of the months-long unity talks to be signs of mature politics: the eagles have landed, details fully kinked out, and appearances crease-free in time for the presentation of papers to MEC Chair Justice Dr. Jane Ansah on Monday.
We salute the coalition, give those best wishes in the campaigns and on polling day. Seventeen million Malawians are looking for someone who will make a difference in their lives. A video of a group of women, singing to a dance about no vote for the person who caused price-hikes for fertilizer and maize; another affirm she will not vote for anyone who is violent to women.
There are many challenges Malawi is facing. Pooling the collective wisdom of the four political parties, is the first step in the right direction to overcoming them.