In the Bible, a story is told about a tax collector of the time answering to the name of Zacchaeus. The main feature of the story is that he climbed into a tree to aid his view of Jesus because he was short.
Zacchaeus did not have his own means of height to see Jesus. He had to seek aid from the height of a tree. Meaning the height that he used to see Jesus was not his own. It belonged to a tree.
Chakwera is a loose equivalent in meaning of “something has climbed”. The prefix “cha” suggests the big size of that “something”. Meaning that “something” is not ordinary in size. It is big.
What is interesting is that there is a relationship between Lazarus and Chakwera. Zacchaeus had to climb a tree to be able to perform a function of seeing Jesus. The present day Zacchaeus, called Lazarus, is not short physically like the Bible one, but he is, too, being aided, where he is short, to function.
Suffice to say, as his surname suggests, he is short and therefore has to climb upon something. If he can not climb up or ride on something Lazarus, the present one, will not be to function. He has to climb on something because he is short somewhere.
The Zacchaeus was short in height. MCP’s Lazarus is short in something. No wonder he has to ride on something. Let’s find out where the MCP Lazarus is short.
He took over from John Tembo as MCP President. But he did not take over the Presidency only. He took John Tembo’s tools and the features of the MCP of old as well.
Mary Kamkondo is a daughter of the former district chairperson of the MCP Women’s League in Dedza. Rumour has it that she used to attend to the turbines of Tembo. But it is only rumour. What is in a rumour, anyway?
What is not a rumour though is that Mary Kamkondo was looked after by Tembo from a very tender age. No one saw Mary’s father. Probably, that is the reason Tembo came in to fill the void of fathering. Maybe the void was fictitious too. That’s a story for another day.
When Mary grew up, she became Tembo’s secretary. He got her a Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) semi-detached house in Area 18B, close to the MTL Tower.
She got married to an officer of the Malawi Defence Force, but still served Tembo. Until the day Tembo left office of the MCP President, Mary played the role of secretary.
All this detail is simply meant to illustrate the fact that Tembo and Mary are close. They are just as good as family, if not naturally already. Not that Mary is not a trained and qualified secretary to seek other pastures. Her service to Tembo was apparently more of loyalty than job satisfaction. Surely, there is something between them that only they know.
When Lazarus took over the Presidency, he took over Mary too. The bosom servant of Tembo is the secretary of Lazarus as you are reading this.
How Mary came to serve Lazarus is a matter of debate. It could be that Tembo imposed her on Lazarus. Or it could be that Lazarus decided to continue with the hands of Tembo. Whichever is the case, the fact is that Lazarus uses Tembo’s closest servant.
She is not the only one.
There is a man called Phakamisa. This fellow used to be a notorious MYP operative. MYP may have had its excesses but one Phakamisa was excessive. It is probably because of this excessive nature that Tembo took him as his body-guard.
As we all have heard, Tembo too was excessive where it suited his purposes.
This Phakamisa fellow now serves Chakwera, again, as bodyguard. It is this Phakamisa who threw out Gustav Kaliwo when he was trying to get entry to Lazarus before the fateful executive meeting that suspended and fired some senior elected officials of the party.
By the way, it is Phakamisa, using his MYP propensities, who led the orchestra of burning markets as acts of sabotage while the UDF was in power.
It is the Phakamisa team that burnt the notorious BL 11 operated by the UDF thug Mashosho Dukulira Mbwatalika.
So, where it comes to acts of sabatoge, like arson, the record of Phakamisa is remarkable. He may be useful as the investigations into the outbreak of fires are being conducted.
Then there is one Potiphar Chidaya. He is working at the MCP headquarters as the Administrative Secretary. Several people have served in the position including Bakili Muluzi, late Maxwell Pashane, late Jodder Kanjere, late Mfunjo Mwanjasi Mwakikunga, late Ngeresi Mwaungulu, but not in the manner of one Chidaya.
Today, that position has become almost personal to holder to him. He was put there by Tembo. He has been protected throughout by Tembo. He has been fed and dressed by Tembo. He has been indoctrinated into the Tembomania.
This man too was inherited by Lazarus.
Then Lazarus inherited the badge of Kamuzu. His campaign rhetoric was of reforms and rebranding.
One wonders how rebranding could ever take place while he still wears the face of Kamuzu on the lapel of his jacket, while he uses the slogan of Kamuzu, while he uses people who are symbols of murder and torture, while he is served by graduates of Tembomania.
Now probably we begin to understand where Lazarus is short.
He is short on ideas. That is why he still uses the outdated ideology of MCP of intimidation and violence. He is short of strategy that is why he still uses nepotistic and regionalistic strategies of John Tembo who in his career as MCP President addressed more rallies in his Dedza South constituency than in all parts of the country combined.
Tembo thought he would win the national Presidency by only meeting people in the central region. This is the regional mentality that Lazarus parroted.
Here is where Lazarus is short too. He can’t originate. He can only “kwera ya John Tembo”.
No wonder he is “Chakwera ya John Tembo” even in terms of personnel at his service.
In other words, Lazarus is short in everything that matters.
He can’t decide on his own. Someone has to make those decisions for him. There is merit in this supposition if the conduct of his bodyguards toward senior MCP officials is anything to go by.
Like John Tembo, he has also learnt the art of fronting his actions.
He can’t recruit his own people. They must always be connected to Tembo or the atrocious past of MCP. He can’t give MCP a new direction because the legacy of MCP is so beautiful to let go, he employs some of its tactics.
It is said charity begins at home. Likewise, leadership must start at home.
If one has to climb on the shoulders of the MCP torturous ideology or seek the height of Tembo to run a party presidency, on whose shoulders will he rely on to run the country?
He uses anarchy to thwart dissent at party level. He uses violence to deal with critics. He uses divide and rule tactics to perpetuate himself.
Then, what will happen in the unlikely event of getting state presidential powers? Worse!! (By Price Walter)