By Gwentha Mpinganjira
The United Democratic Front UDF under its founder and first multiparty President Dr. Bakili Muluzi was once a mighty party and talk of the town.
UDF used to command popularity across the country. Bakili with his special gift of talking was the darling of the people
UDF had offices in almost every constituency. UDF Branded vehicles were almost everywhere in town.
Bakili enjoyed his first term. Malawians never paid attention to the dark side of his leadership. All people could say was bola tachotsa MCP ndi Kamuzu. Little did they know of what the future hold of the most powerful and feared political party United Democratic Front.
UDF was once a name everybody wanted to associate with.
Bakili Muluzi surrounded himself with the most powerful, educated, experienced, and men of integrity in the likes of Justin Malewezi who was his VP, Aleke Banda, etc.
Today UDF is not the same powerful party that it used to be. The party has now become a family entity and it’s in wilderness. It has reached at point where the President of that party fails to win to defend his parliamentary seat to an independent candidate. Better lesson for APM and his inner circle to learn now or send the party into bottomless pit.
Bakili lost touch because he could not trust the internal politicians in the likes of Aleke Banda who left him and formed his party Peoples Progressive movement, Malewezi left him and stood on an independent ticket, Brown Mpinganjira left him and formed National Democratic Alliance so do many others.
Bakili Muluzi never trusted his own men and as a result, he picked the late Bingu wa Mutharika May His Soul Rest in Peace, to be a Presidential candidate.
Bingu being an outsider to UDF it was hard to govern as Bakili Muluzi and others wanted to continue ruling behind Bingu’s back a thing ‘Chitsulo chanjanji’ never accepted. Bingu left DPP and formed his own party Democratic Progressive Party( DPP). That marked the official death of UDF. And certified by well known political doctors that indeed UDF has gone to the grave to wait for second coming of Jesus in a rapture theological teaching.
DPP as a party is in a process of making similar mistakes that saw UDF in the current state. The former first lady Gertrude Mutharika is on record to be the main engineer of bringing an outsider into DPP politics Dr. Dalitso Kabambe to take over from her Husband Professor Peter Mutharika. She is the one who brought unknown Chimulirenji to pair with his husband for her glory a thing that everyone in DPP saw it as one of the grave mistake APM made in his political career. And that was the starting point of DPP accepting that it does not need to be in government anymore. All over the world, the running mate is the one who adds quality and dynamism to the lead candidate and that was not with ‘Azonzi’ as he was popular known at that time when he was ‘VP’. What a penalty miss by the learned Professor of Law who has taught in top universities in USA and travelled all over the sitting on numerous tribunals on constitutional matters.
If President Mutharika is not careful this will mark the end of DPP. Bingu worked so hard with the people Peter Mutharika is ignoring today.
If Bingu was alive today, there was no way Francis Mphepo could have been so close to him, never. If Bingu was alive today there was no way crooks like Chimwemwe Chipungu could have found their way into the party’s coffers even reaching the point of eating condolences money
Bingu was a man of the people because he understood African politics so well that he allowed himself to be surrounded by people from North, Centre, East, and South of Malawi and not only a single tribe.
President Chakwera must take heed of this advice if he is to survive in politics otherwise as it stands now people have lost trust in his adminstration because of tribalism spirit that he campaigned against.
THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR PRESIDENT PROFESSOR PETER MUTHARIKA TO PROVE THAT HE IS A LEADER WHO CAN LEAD NOT OTHERS LEAD THROUGH HIM.