At a rally in Blantyre, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the South, Kondwani Nakhumwa told the crowd, gathered at Bangwe ‘desert’ ground, that the 2019 DPP Manifesto is being written by President Peter Mutharika and will be ready soon. In other words, Nankhumwa had nothing to say on DPP’s plans and vision for Malawi from 2019 going forward. You need to understand this properly folks. The entire Vice President of the so-called ruling party, a party desperately seeking to be re-elected, does not have a clue on the contents nor is he providing any input to his party’s manifesto! Effectively Nankhumwa was confirming to all that were present that the rally was just a waste of time for the people that attended it with the hope that the DPP had some ground breaking campaign messages for them.
Listening to the speech, one would have thought it was a DPP National Governing Council (NGC) meeting. The speech was full of how party functionaries should behave themselves in order to maintain the party in power. The allegories provided were inflammatory, suggesting that it is wrong to want Mutharika to retire because the leader of the Catholic Church is older than him. There were speeches about how it is wrong to want what some called “the presidential seat”.
Mind you, these people were speaking of the PARTY as the entity that needs to be maintained in power, not the President as provided in the constitution. I ask you now, where in the Malawi constitution do you read of a party being in power? But that is a discussion for another day. For now, we must focus on the fact that on the party’s vice President Kondwani Nankhumwa’s admission, the DPP party rally at Bangwe was not meant for the 88% of Malawians who believe the country is going in the wrong direction (Afrobarometer, 2017).
Some people might be surprised that 9 months before the general elections elections, DPP has neither a clear vision nor any message of hope for Malawians. I for one am not surprised. Whoever has been tasked with writing the 2019 DPP manifesto, has a daunting job to do. It won’t be easy. It needs an expert in lying. And according to Nankhumwa, this colossal task has been taken up but none other than the president himself? Be afraid, be very afraid!
Anyone who read the aesthetically beautiful and impressive DPP manifesto in 2014, which helped to convince many people including yours truly to support Peter Mutharika and DPP, will ask this question: what will DPP write in the 2019 manifesto that will convince voters that despite miserably failing to fulfill any of the promises made in the 2014 manifesto, they should now believe that promises in the new manifesto will be fulfilled?
Now, I know that many in the country have already been convinced by the vision of the United Transformation Movement (UTM) brilliantly articulated by Dr. Saulos Chilima. However, out of sympathy, goodwill, I feel the DPP needs an advocate who can present its case to the masses in a convincing manner. I have therefore taken it upon myself to assist the DPP in writing the preamble section of their 2019 Manifesto in such a way as to make it appealing and convincing. Here is how I suggest it should read:
2019 DPP Manifesto
The time that comes once every five years for all Malawians to elect new leaders is here again. In May 2019, you will have another chance to elect leaders that will govern the country for five years. The key word here is ‘for five’ years. A voting mistake in 2019 can only be corrected in 2024. We urge all voters to think wisely and vote for leaders of high integrity, whom they believe to have a good vision for Malawi and most importantly will fulfill their promises.
This manifesto contains what the DPP will do if elected again to govern Malawi from 2019.
Before you read the manifesto, however, we would like to apologize for failing to fulfill the promises we made in our 2014 manifesto. Although we tried very hard to fulfill all the promises in our manifesto, we miserably failed simply because luck was not our side. As a result, we have fulfilled only the very easy ones of the numerous promises we made to Malawians.
For example, out of the five new universities that we promised to build, we have not built even a single one! What else could be responsible for that apart from bad luck? Although we promised to deal with corruption decisively, corruption has increased for the past four years. Billions of taxpayers’ money has been lost and looted by some DPP members and their cronies in the Asian community. The highlight of corruption under our watch was when our President, Peter Mutharika was caught red-handed with a cool dubious 145 million Kwacha deposited in a party account by a businessman who had just got a contract payment from government. Mutharika is the sole signatory for the account. As you can see, that was just complete bad luck! We so much wanted to fulfill our promises, but failed miserably and didn’t fulfill these and many other promises just because of bad luck.
Nevertheless, we still urge you to read our new manifesto, which contains many of the old unfulfilled promises and some very new ones as well. We believe this time we will deliver because for a long time we have been praying for good luck. We are aware that other parties are also making different promises. We request you to ignore all those promises and trust our party that has just failed to deliver numerous promises. We failed to fulfill our promises not because you didn’t pay enough tax but because of bad luck. It’s this bad luck that made the government to loose billions of Kwachas of your tax money to some of our party members, their cronies, family members, tribesmen and business associates.
In this 2019 manifesto we outline the best promises you will ever read in a manifesto. Please read and help us get a landslide win- fingers crossed.
Allan Ntata’s Column can be read every Sunday on the Maravi Post