Now, going forward, AA goes into the 2019 race with depleted troops in Parliament and the tag of having failed in his first bid for office. He has complicated matters by allowing himself to be swallowed by the DPP.
But maybe the young man is not stupid after all. Out of the four he competed with in 2014, he will, at 39, still be the only one who will be spring chicken in 2019. Peter Mutharika will be a tired old man of 79, Ama will be a few months shy of 70 while Rev. Lazarus Chakwera will be 64.
If AA will not do another stunt of abandoning ship midway he may be banking on the possibility that Peter will be too old to push on in 2019. If Peter will be unlike Bingu and Muluzi and spare Saulos Chilima the ‘Malawi Vice President’ bug, aNgoni might be candidate for the DPP in 2019 and AA may be the automatic choice for running mate.
That will be a real killer, a must-beat ticket. But it all depends on several things that AA may not be in control of, chief among them his longevity in the Mutharika-Chilima Cabinet and the relationship between Peter and Saulos.
Suffice to say, however, AA still has a whole life ahead of him. He has to look beyond his nose when making strategic decisions. If he is going to realistically bid to be on a future ballot, his own or as an appendage to another candidate, he has to take his entire party with him.
Look, several of his senior officials were as dumbfounded as the lot of us at the news of AA’s name in the Cabinet. He should have negotiated for more than his lone seat on the Cabinet table.
But, for now, his ‘Agenda for Change’ is as good as buried for he has joined the club whose very agenda he invented the change agenda for.