Joseph Njobvuyalema is a veteran MCP politician and lawmaker with no nonsense attitude. He is a tough one, one of the pillars of the party which is rooted in the central region since 1994.
But Njobvuyalema surprised me last week when he called for the formation of a coalition government between the DPP and the MCP itself, all because he thinks the central region has not benefitted from the national cake as the cabinet is full of Lomwes.
One for sure is that there is no region better developed than the other. Poverty afflicts the same throughout the country. Infact, one would safely say the central region, with Lilongwe as the capital city, has benefitted more in terms of development than the other regions. Anyway, that’s another story.
Another thing for sure is that coalition governments do not work well in Malawi. What we have in the past are electoral pacts, like the one by the MCP and UDF in 2009, and the one of UDF and Aford at another time.
Remember the great democratic champion Chakufwa Chihana was second vice president during the ear of president Bakili Muluzi. That was the beginning of Aford to speedily descend into oblivion.
And the UDF itself is just coming back from the dead after it paired with the MCP in 2009. Njobvuyalema should be the first person to know that his party thrives on being alone, one being the only party located in a region with one tribe—the Chewas. The Chewas are a tough group-they would rather stay in opposition forever rather than go into a coalition with a ruling party and see their party descend into the graveyard.
I really don’t know how of all lawmakers Nobvuyalema would propose a coalition government just because APM has not included MCP into his cabinet. Malawians are known for short memories, but I don’t have one. I still remember just two years ago one Joyce Banda tried a “unity cabinet” and brought in various faces, including Atupele Muluzi, MCP’s Sosten Gwengwe and others, into her cabinet.
It was in the name of unifying the country….and of course pleasing those hired into cabinet, and in a way dismantling the other parties.
What happened next? Most of those who came out of the MCP and DPP to join the PP Boma, got their final pay: they lost.
The beauty with the MCP is that anybody who gets elected on its ticket and moves out to join the government, that becomes the end of the political career, unless you move back to the MCP. Ask Dr Herthewick Ntaba, he has a story to tell about how the MCP treats politicians who defect to other parties.
If what Njobvuyalema thinks a coalition government will help to develop the country because it will see that the national cake is shared equally, then he has one thing coming: it’s not true this works this way. He might be tired working in the opposition for 20 years, but as a representative of the people of his constituency, he is better off finding ways and means of developing your area rather than wait for the government to think for you.
Does being in opposition mean that you can’t develop your area with schools, boreholes, bridges and etc? After all, this should come from money that you vote for in parliament.
You want a coalition government in Malawi? Forget it, don’t kill democracy. You want a federal system of government in Malawi? Forget it, over my dead body. Sikomo!