So let us come back to the question: what does one make out of the unprecedented quitting of senior officials from the governing party less than five months to the elections? Greed or crisis of leadership?
A bit of both. Surely greed is what is motivating these politicians to position themselves ahead of the May 20 D-Day. Forget what Sidik Mia said about ‘resting and reflecting’. He obviously has been talking with ‘some people’.
Let us look into the crystal ball. Very soon you will hear or see Sidik Mia making yet another ‘big’ announcement.
Let me hazard a guess. We discussed on these pages how the resurgent MCP could augment its electoral chances by roping in someone strong from the populous South.
After hitting a blank wall with former Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo Rev. Dr. Lazarus Chakwera might have cast his net wider. If truth be told, catching Mia can be a coup for the cleric-turned politician. Look, after the political death of the Lower Shire gladiator Gwanda Chakuamba, Mia was the next big thing in the Sena belt.
Mia’s philanthropy cannot be dismissed. PP knows this, Ama herself acknowledged the same when she told her party convention that the Mia family not only fed the delegates but decorated (for free) the convention hall itself. (By the way, that public endorsement of Mia cost one Brown Mpinganjira the contest for the party vice presidency. BJ must be having the last laugh now!)
But the quitting en masse of party members could also be a pointer of a crisis of leadership in the party. Look, a party cannot lose two vice presidents who were duly elected at a convention.
I agree with Ken Nsonda, the party’s deputy publicist, who – in a rare bout of unbridled frankness – mourned the departure of Mia. It is rare for politicians to admit that they have a crisis on their hands. In fact, Malawian politics being petty as it is, I would not be surprised if Nsonda gets censured for his frankness.
But PP must take a hard look at itself and ask the hard question: what are we not doing right? A serious party cannot allow such kind of haemorrhage of members less than five months to an election. Dismissing such exodus as good riddance to bad rubbish is foolhardy to say the least.
PP must not revel in the fool’s paradise and lie to itself that “all is well”. If truth be told, things are not looking good for the party. The party must leave Peter Mutharika and his beloved green card alone and concentrate on saving itself from implosion.
Like a house of cards, PP is crumbling. As Nsonda has suggested, the party needs to seriously go back to the drawing board and do some serious soul-searching.
Ama must be wary of those hangers-on who are lying to her that all is well because all is not well. These political journeymen will jump on the next gravy train should this implosion cost her May 20. As Oscar Wilde of old aptly put it, to lose one vice president may be unfortunate, to lose two is carelessness.