Granted, the so-called Tisintha Alliance cannot have any impact on the outcome of the May 20 elections. But do you know the cost of the decision by its vice presidential running mate Sylvester Chabuka to pull out mid-stream? 

Officials from the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) and other stakeholders were supposed to fly to South Africa to oversee the printing of ballots at least by today. But the whole process has been put on ice so that the implications of Chabuka’s actions must be debated and analysed.  

 So cost in time and resources following Chabuka’s action cannot be quantifiable. Already, we do not have the luxury of time; only 36 days separate us from May 20.  

But Mec still has to consult the Attorney General and at least one or two independent legal minds on the impact of Chabuka’s action. 

Now this courtesy of someone whose party only exists in his briefcase is unfair for the 15 million of us. Look, if truth be told, we only hear of Congress for National Unity (Conu) during elections. I am not sure how many parliamentary or council seats, if at all, the party is contesting. And such a party has the audacity to hold the whole nation to ransom?  

The reasons Chabuka advances for his divorce from George Nnesa do not make sense at all. How can a serious party enter into an electoral alliance with a horde of other parties without first studying and agreeing with each of their ideologies? 

By the way, if I may ask, what ideologue does Conu follow? 

I think it is high time we tightened laws governing who can contest for electoral office, be it presidential, parliamentary or council. As it is now any joker can offer themselves for office as long as they are of the right age, have money to waste and they are seemingly sane (although, truthfully, most are barely so). 

There should be penalties for time-wasters like Chabuka. For instance, he should bear the cost of the destroyed draft ballot papers, the cost of the new draft ballots, the cost of Mec’s legal opinion-seeking exercise and the time he has wasted. 

Of course he has the right and freedom to join and leave the race whenever he wishes to. But all rights and freedoms must come with responsibilities; it has to be a complete package, you cannot have a cake and eat it at the same time. 

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