Political expediency is a very costly exercise and has contributed to the decline of this country just as what corruption has done.
Malawians are so blinded by political capital to a point of committing political suicide and watch economic decline prevail.
Decisions, appointment and even statements are taken from a political point and not national building.
This brings me to the vice president Saulos Chilima issue. I have taken time to study him and observe his actions and rhetoric.
He has his weaknesses and strength just like any other human being but he is a victim of his own success and political ambition.
While in former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Chilima for long was treated as an outsider. There were elements who were very uncomfortable with him and hatched a plan to destroy his political future by all means necessary. Today that story is never told, all that we hear is how he is ungrateful person who betrayed DPP.
Truth be told, in DPP today there are people that betrayed the party and its president Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) much worse than what Chilima did. The people back-stabbed APM and DPP while winning and dinning with him.
At least for Chilima had the guts to leave DPP and attack it from outside, but there were and continue to exist people who destroyed DPP and continue to do so from within.
I often contend that Tonse Alliance did not defeat DPP, but rather DPP defeated itself. I know people that were traveling with APM during the day, while at night they would carry bags of money to Tonse alliance leaders.
I know about people that felt entitled to be the running mate of APM and when they were left in 2019 elections as well as in the 2020 court sanctioned Fresh Presidential Elections, vowed and worked so hard to ensure that APM and DPP fail, in their weak scheme of things planning to take over the party after its loss.
Within the file and rank of DPP, existed people with deception who lied to APM at every opportune time—people that took money for campaign and decide to stash it for their own use; people that took money meant for monitoring elections which is a crucial part of protecting the votes, and decided to throw party monitors to the dogs; people that in an effort to frustrate APM and DPP were undermining it at every opportune time, reaching an extent of inviting APM to go and cultivate pigeon peas after predicting a loss in the pending elections.
Ironically, these are the very same people, who at every opportune time, peddle the lies against Chilima so that their own actions must be covered up. In DPP, Chilima remained silent to a point when he felt enough was enough and all hell did break loose.
Now its déjà vu. History, as they say, has a funny way of repeating itself. Just like in DPP before, within Malawi Congress Party (MCP) there is a clique of people that has a sense of ownership and entitlement of the party. In their scheme of things, Chilima was a necessary evil to help them get to power and must be dumped afterwards.
The cartel in MCP is much worse than that in DPP. Of course, one such similarity is that of tribalistic tendencies of the cartel. This clique of people have spent much time demonizing Chilima and pays a lot of social media people to expose Chilima.
They pay online media to write stories vilifying Chilima and have engaged a full gear to have the vice president finished once and for all. At policy level, they work overdrive not implement any campaign promises that seem to align with Chilima’s vision fearing that doing so will make him popular.
The pity with this clique is that they focus very much on political expediency and are not calculating the damage that this futile action will cause. The clique for far too long has been pushing blame of their failure on Chilima who previously was responsible for economic planning.
The most interesting story is how the clique has been taken by surprise by a single jab that Chilima has thrown at them. Truth be told, this clique has tried as much as possible to wedge a lift between Chakwera and Chilima.
They were happy when Chakwera was not delegating anything to his vice. The moment such delegation has happened, they went into overdrive to destroy Chilima through leaking the delegation list and demonizing Chilima as wasteful.
The pity with political expedience cliques, they are often ignorant and inept to managing state affairs. They convinced each other that they must blame COVID-19, natural disasters and now the war in Ukraine for their shortcomings and failures. Rising cost of commodities? blame war in Ukraine. Increase in cost of living? well, COVID.
Now that Chilima has simply stated the obvious that as the government they can’t continue to blame Covid and war they have come out gun blazing, up in arms against him, bad mouthing the veep. The paid up online media are busy talking how corrupt Chilima is and he is now a moving target for the social media team.
What crime has Chilima really committed to warrant such media attacks? What is really wrong with Chilima’s speech before his departure to the United States? Those seeking political expediency, hated Chilima’s delegated trip as that might symbolise a shift in relationship between Chakwera and Chilima.
MCP’s clique’s quest of political capital is costing this country so much as the bickering is contaminating the very government’s focus on delivering to Malawians.
People are already preparing for the next election without Chilima as a partner and if need be without Chakwera himself. After all, Chakwera was only a stranger invited to the table to clean the image of Chewa and lead them to power, and is also expendable in their own eyes.
MCP suffers from the same disease like that of DPP. Chilima is not a Chewa and therefore cannot take over the mantle of leadership in Tonse whose leader partner is MCP.
As for DPP the fear of Atupele Muluzi taking over from APM, not being a lomwe, was enough to send some people into frenzy of sabotaging the 2020 elections, and to date they want an alliance with UDF but it must be ruled by one of their own.
In all this scenario, the people don’t invest in building this country but everything is politics taking center stage. If we don’t seek national hood we shall forever languish in poverty. If our thinking is to value a kinsmen first, a person from the same tribe, same religion, same region, and all those isms, we will keep on fighting until Jesus comes.
Until some people stop thinking that they own these political parties and treat them as personal estates, we shall never rise from our deep slumber.