A few days after the announcement of UTM/PP/Tikonze alliance, it has collapsed due to People’s Party (PP) leader Joyce’s Banda’s insistence that her son, Roy Kachale, be running mate to Saulos Chilima. Sources close to the talks have disclosed that Joyce Banda put her foot down on Kachale’s inclusion in the alliance as running mate. Roy Kachale, who doesn’t have any known leadership experience, was proposed by Joyce Banda just because he is her son.
Malawi politics is full of party dynasties which are a threat to intraparty democracy. Parties like Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and United Democratic Front (UDF) are almost at the point of extinction because of unilateral decisions by leaders who feel their families own the parties. AFORD belongs to the Chihana dynasty while UDF belongs to the Muluzi dynasty. These families have been making decisions which have led to AFORD having a single seat in parliament from 36 while UDF has 14 MPs from 85 in 1994.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which in the 2009 general elections, scooped a majority of 112 seats in parliament and got 66 percent of the votes for the presidential election is on the decline with latest research showing that it’s popularity is hovering around 30 percent.
Despite many capable leaders within PP, Joyce Banda’s son, Roy Kachale Banda, who was ‘elected unopposed, as PP’s Vice President for the eastern region is waiting on the wings to become president of the party in future. The party is now under threat of going the UDF way, family party.
The latest revelations about Joyce Banda wanting her son to be a running mate to Saulos Chilima are a joke. She has killed an alliance which had the potential to dislodge the DPP regime from the reigns of power. Joyce Banda should stop making PP a family party. People’s party members who let her treat the party as her family property are wasting their time because with family ownership, parties always become extinct.
After miserably losing the 2014 elections, Joyce Bandaa made a politically wise decision to go on a self imposed exile. The decision helped her and PP to get lid of scavengers, vultures and opportunists from the party. The likes of Uladi Mussa also known as change golo showed their known colors of lack of party loyalty and left to join DPP.
When Joyce Banda returned home, some people had already started forgetting and forgiving her past mediocre performance as president. The ball was on her court to make the most of this human trait of forgetting and forgiving when given space and time.
After making a wise decision to join Chilima and others in an election alliance, the last thing she could do was to make a selfish decision of presenting her son as the only person from PP who could be Chilima’s running mate.
Other capable PP members should look at themselves in the mirror and ask the question; what does Roy Kachale have that I don’t have? The answer to that question will liberate them from supporting a family party that will never rule Malawi because of lack of objective choice of leadership and consensus decision making process.
Malawians are wise enough to know that they can’t leave leadership of the country to one or a few families. There are many capable Malawians who can run the country efficiently. Under-qualified individuals should not become automatic leaders just because their dad or mum was once a president.
By rejecting the under-qualified, inexperienced and someone without any leadership skills who was chosen because ndi mwana wa mayi, Chilima has demonstrated strong and unwavering decision making skills that Malawi needs to develop to the next level.
No party is bigger than Malawi. No family is bigger than Malawi. Decisions about future leadership of Malawi should be taken seriously to avoid ending up with some mickey mouse characters as President of Malawi. We have already wasted time with some mediocre leaders. It’s time to get tough and wise in leadership selection! ( Written by Patseni Mauka)