BY Joshua Mbele
History keeps on repeating in Malawi politically as just witness this week when President Lazarus Chakwera failed to reshuffle the cabinet after unable to tame corrupt ministers whom are friends, family members and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) loyalists.
The same also happened to the first Malawi President Kamuzu Banda of MCP.
In 1964, Diametric Positions in Government Policies crystallized into a full blown Cabinet Crisis
1~ Fundamentally, there was a demand from Leftists or pro socialism ministers while Dr Banda and few others stood their ground
2~ There was also a stiff fight for positions. Africanization. Now that independence had been achieved, some wanted all the Colonial Officers to be booted out of civil service. Dr Banda refused. He insisted on orderly transfer of skills.
3~ The Crisis boiled down to personal attacks. Dr Banda offered to resign. Later in the afternoon of the following day, he came back and read the riot act. The gloves were off. The ministers resigned one by one. Dr Banda demanded their blood and skins, the Ministers were declared rebels. They fled the country.
In 2021 President Chakwera is facing equilibrium cabinet crisis. Quality vs Quantity. The complexity is in the equitable allocation of Cabinet Posts.
Malawi Congress Party got all better and meaningful Cabinet posits. UTM got Mines, Energy & Tourism as consolation prizes. Real Ministerial posts. This left Chilima humiliated in his own camp.
UTM felt used and damped. Today the promised Cabinet Reshuffle is failing to materialize. It can only be that Chilima has stood his ground. He has demanded to increase allocations to his plate to balance the equation.
The real issue here is material. UTM is gripped by the neck. Death by strangulation. They are financially suffocating. They have no muscle to mobilize themselves effectively for 2025. The recent two by-elections painted a woeful picture. UTM has struggled. It was back to bootstraps while MCP was awash with resources.
In summary, the battle of Goliath & David has just began. If you ask the military generals, they will tell you that you don’t negotiate for better terms at the table after losing in the battle field.
Truth be told:Malawians are the biggest losers in all this.We have wasted 9 months running in circles. Nothing has come out of Tonse Alliance Government. No policy direction. No Economic Reforms. No Development Strategy. All we have got to-date is the theft of Covid Money.
I foresee trouble. Political turmoil. The secret agreement is raring its ugly head.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor