… Malawians too, laugh-off the arrangement
By Nenenji Mlangeni
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Political commentators have warned former president Joyce Banda to reject the temptation of imposing her son, Roy Kachale, as Saulos Chilima’s running mate.
The analysts say if the newly formed electoral alliance wants to preach transformation, then it should start by walking the sermon.
One of the commentators, Isaac Kumpama, a Blantyre International University (BIU) political science lecturer was reacting to reports that Joyce Banda wants her son Roy to partner Chilima in May 21’s watershed elections.
It is however understood that this has brought discomfort within the Peoples Party (PP) ranks and files as Roy is regarded as a political novice.
Said Kumpama: “It would be hypocrisy of highest order for Joyce Banda to be pushing Chilima to pick her son. Banda went out of DPP on the basis that Bingu wa Mutharika wanted his brother, Peter to succeed him. She rejected the arrangement and it shouldn’t be sweet now simply because it is involving her biological son.”
Concurring with Kumpama, a PP high ranking official who did not want to be named added that for Chilima to pair Kachale, it would turn the whole arrangement into a Catholic Church affair.
“We shouldn’t only feel uncomfortable to have people from the same region running political parties. Let’s reject churchism as well. Already, people view UTM as a Catholic Church political wing. So why should we legitimize the assertion by forming an alliance only to have catholics leading it?”argued the official.
On Friday Febreary 1, the country witnessed the formation of opposition alliance consisting of four political parties namely UTM Party, Peoples Party, Alliance for Democracy (Aford) and Tikonze Progressive Party and its expected to name its torch bearer on Monday in Lilongwe.
A joint statement issued by the parties dated 31st January 2019 comes barely 24 hours after Vice President and UTM Party President Saulos Chilima announced at a news conference in Lilongwe on Wednesday that his party was in talks with other opposition parties for a possible electoral alliance.
“WE, the members of UTM, People’s Party (‘PP’), Alliance for Democracy (‘AFORD’) and Tikonze Progressive Movement (‘TPM’), (hereinafter ‘the Parties’) acting through our duly elected leaders; Hereby announce the formation of an electoral alliance between the Parties for the purposes of contesting in the May 2019 Tripartite Elections,” reads the statement in part.
“The Parties have agreed to support one presidential candidate who shall be announced on Monday, 4thFebruary, 2019 at Bingu International Conference Centre at 9:30am,” adds the statement signed by UTM President Saulos Chilima, Peoples party President Joyce Banda, Aford President Enock Chihana and Tikonze progressive movement Interim Vice President Mark Katsonga Phiri.
The parties said they decided to go into an electoral alliance after appreciating the undoubted importance of unity among all Malawians, irrespective of political persuasions, to the attainment of this country’s development goals and recognizing that cooperation between well-meaning and unselfish Malawians sharing common political ideologies and interests is indispensable and in the interests of ordinary Malawians.
The parties also said another reason for the electoral alliance is that they realized that there is a groundswell for support united front among Malawians discontented with the sad state of affairs in this country.
“Further details of the electoral alliance shall be announced at the aforesaid press conference which shall be addressed by the undersigned leaders of the Parties,” concludes the statement.