Barely three years to the next General Election talk in political circles is already centred on how different political parties will perform as compared to the previous polls. Being a social activity that is determined by public perception, politics and political choices always tow the line of favourability of candidates due to their manifestos.
That said, it is now upon Malawi’s electorate to start looking at the possible candidates at the next polls and
evaluate who is likely to emerge victorious.
The argument herein is that the country’s opposition bloc stands little or no chance to upset
the tables and snatch power from the incumbent leadership of Democratic Progressive Party led by Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.
There are several reasons to support this notion. Some of thesereasons focus on what the ruling party has done to deserve another term while on the other hand we dissect why opposition parties do not have the clout to overturn the tables.
First and foremost, President Mutharika has managed to combine his incumbency with strong leadership at a time Malawi is sailing in troubled waters due to financial strains both in the private and public sectors. It is psychological
fact that people world over believe in strong leadership.
Having taken the reins of power at the back of Cashgate Scandal in 2013, President Mutharika has made sure he stabilizes the economy against the withdrawal of donor aid for the whole stretch of his term so far. More
so, his administration has grappled for the past two farming seasons with destructive floods that has swept away almost 25 percent of arable land together with the crop.
It is in this adversity that Malawians now understand why President Mutharika is a more credible candidate ahead of the rest in the pack. Secondly, in relation to the foregoing reason, the President and his DPP have continued
implementing what they told Malawians pre-2014 without giving excuses on the emerging issues. From Public Sector Reforms, Community Technical Colleges, Decent and Affordable Housing to upgrading of road networks across the country; the DPP government has showed commitment to their manifesto and this gives hope to Malawians who decipher trustworthiness in their leaders.
From a political perspective the opposition has not proved to new voters why they should be given a chance. Their strategy remains flawed and erratic at times to change the landscape across the board. That is why the DPP has continued to dominate electoral politics going by all the by-elections that have taken place at Parliamentary and Local Government levels since the 2014 polls.
Questions are always raised on why the largest opposition bloc, Malawi Congress Party, fails to penetrate in areas where they have not performed well for the past 20 years or so. These questions are asked so as to ignite an interest in the MCP to re-strategize their ways and change the course of politics in the country.
But Alas! The MCP has remained confined to the Central Region which does not give them enough votes to mount a challenge at any election. With this in mind one can simply deduce that with tried-and-failed strategies
MCP cannot manage to win in 2019 or in the foreseeable future if they choose not to change. As for the other opposition parties, w e can all agree that they do not hold the cards to win due to their depleted or even non-existent strengths.
Furthermore, Malawi’s opposition parties have never acted as government-in-waiting whenever they do their
things both in Parliament and outside. All the opposition does is to manipulate people’s minds on any policy issue to gain political marks instead of offering tangible alternatives which government can use to
serve the citizenry.
In mind is the recent Land Bill tabled and passed in Parliament. Despite that the Bill gives more ownership of land to
the masses, opposition MPs saw it as chance to antagonize chiefs from government by claiming that traditional leaders are now powerless with the new arrangement.
Had it been the opposition was acting on good motives and goodwill, they were supposed to tell Malawians the truth
on what really this piece of legislation means to their day to day life. As such, I strongly believe that an opposition that fails to tell the truth cannot in any way manage to solicit sympathy or votes from Malawians in 2019.
Elsewhere in the world, opposition parties provide real solutions to real problems in their mandate as an
alternative government. When the opposition behaves in such a civilized manner they give the electorate hope and trust in them thereby increasing chances of winning subsequent elections.
As for now the electoral laws might change but one thing remains true; the voting pattern will remain the same and the most nationalistic party in the country –the DPP- will find it easy to sail through probably at
Presidential, Parliamentary and Local.