A Convention Like No Other As The Blue Sea Converges In Blantyre

For admirers, they have stood by, watching with a sense of pride at what the future of the DPP and the country beholds.

For supporters and the yet-to-be politically affiliated, this is the party to belong to.

As for the agenda-less enemies, the dread is mounting about what a machinery they are meeting in the elections next year.

Such is the gripping atmosphere leading to the DPP convention on Sunday.

But this is not surprising. DPP does not thrive on fantasies and experiments. This is a party with a solid future constructed on the foundations of a solid past –the past of a very impressive development delivery between 2005 and 2012, the past of rising like a phoenix from the ashes of opposition to boot out a sitting president in the 2014 elections.

And then a four-year period of delivery that has defied the roughest of the odds:  a treasury which Joyce Banda plundered under Cash-gate resulting in almost a cashless country,  the most devastating floods in decades which affected half the country, and a drought that left half the population in need of food aid – all coming back to back.

In the hands of anyone else, Malawi would have collapsed. In the hands of President Peter Mutharika and the DPP, we survived.

And the recovery of the economy, the single most important factor in development, never wavered.

Today, the honest ones can sit and watch a miracle unfolding before our eyes – roads spanning the distance, community technical colleges, schools, hospitals, new infrastructure in public universities, returning donor confidence, investor interest, large scale social and economic programmes and an economy that is beginning to be global news.

This is a party that has been tried and tested – and prevailed.

The strength of a party results from the strength of its leadership. President Mutharika has been a galvanising centre. Focused on developing the nation, he has weathered daily insults and attacks since he took office.

And when asked about the attacks on ZBS television in December last year, he said; “I don’t take the insults personally, although I think name calling is not right. I want to believe that we do this because we all want this country to develop but we differ in ways how to do it.”

It is this tolerance and strength of character to steer clear from pettiness and stay on the mission to deliver that has rubbed off on everyone in the party and out of it. He has offered DPP an assured leadership. He has led the party through its ideals of development democracy.

The verve to this convention is like no other the country has seen in democratic Malawi. Delegates have not been invited to the convention through phone calls in the middle of the night. And there is no choreographing of who to contest. It is an open process, fully democratic and everyone is free.

There are some disgruntled few that attempted to sow divsions in the party. The leadership allowed them to make their noise without hinderance. They insulted and despised and created schemes to make their case. They left on their own. It turned out that the party was undergoing self-purification.

The momentum, the sense of unity and the abiding hope should scare those that thought that the DPP was one to be cowed.

The level of interest by the young men and women and intellectuals and professionals and many patriotic Malawians to contest for various top positions at the convention is inspiring. It demonstrates the dynamism of the party and the solidity of its future.

It speaks of citizens who are eager to participate in the transformation of the country – under a party which has the most robust development policy for this nation.

So it is that after the convention, the Blue Submarine will roll on. Woe to those who thought DPP is breakable, who thought that it is stoppable!

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