Submitted by: Innocencia Chikuse
When late Gwanda Chakuwamba was president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the shire valley citizens played along—and Chakuwamba successfully made the shire valley, the second MCP stronghold after the central region. However, this was short-lived when Chakuwamba formed his party—the Republican Party.
But as they say, old habits die hard—the shire valley has now returned to its original tent, the MCP, this time courtesy of Mbuya the second, Mohammed Sidik Mia—the arguably political heavy weight of the southern region, shire valley to be more precise.
This week, the party President Dr Lazarus Chakwera dated the Shire valley with dozens of whistle stop tours as well as two mega rallies. In all the places Chakwera visited, he was welcomed by mammoth crowds eagerly waiting to see him and have their fair dose of Chakwera super High5 agenda.
On Friday, the party had a mega rally in Nsanje Lalanje constituency—the famous constituency which broke the MCP decades old jinx of not having an MP in the southern region. The crowds were amazing. However, one would argue otherwise that MCP was in their official territory hence the massive crowds.
But huge as Nsanje Lalanje crowd was, the crowd that came at Nsangwe ground in Chikwawa South constituency yesterday was amazing as it surpassed the Nsanje Lalanje constituency one.
The sea of people in Chikwawa South confirmed one thing that MCP has made serious inroads in the shire valley and one can be tempted to believe what Mia is claiming that he has locked the shire valley.
Taking his turn, Mia, who is also presidential running mate in next month’s watershed election told Chakwera that he has locked the shire valley saying MCP will get the lion’s share of the vote.
“Mr President, out of 17 million people in the country, you chose me to be your running mate in this election. These people here are grateful for that gesture and in return, they assured me that they will do the needful next month,” said Mia.
On his part, Chakwera said was impressed with the support he is receiving from the shire valley and in parts of the country. In his address, he sold the High5 agenda to the people saying he is ready and steady to govern once Malawians give President Mutharika ‘red card’ next month.
Quizzed on how he is rating his chances of winning next months’ election, Chakwera, citing the massive support he is enjoying across the country said has ‘150 to 200% chances of winning” the election next month.
This afternoon, Chakwera and the alliance partners Joyce Banda and Khumbo Kachali of Peoples Party and Freedom Party respectively, will be addressing a mega rally at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre. The rally is expected to be live on most local media outlets.