One of Malawi’s revered historians Dr. Desmond Dudwa Phiri, commonly known as DD Phiri, has doubted Lazarus Chakwera’s ability to lead the country in the wake of his apparent failure to achieve unity within his Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Writing in DD Phiri Column in Tuesday, February 6 edition of The Nation, the historian asked: “If a leader cannot achieve unity of his party how can he achieve the unity of the nation. During the coming elections people will reason in this manner.”
In the article, DD Phiri further drew similarities between the current state of affairs in MCP and the well documented 1964 cabinet crisis when Hastings Kamuzu Banda was leading the party.
He said the 1964 scenario was triggered by backbiting which later forced some cabinet ministers to write a memorandum protesting against Kamuzu Banda’s style of leadership that he was running the country like a private estate by not consulting the cabinet.
Ironically, the current purging in the MCP also started after some leaders accused Chakwera of disregarding the party hierarchy, which they said was an assault on the laws governing the country’s oldest political party.
“Kamuzu dismissed three of the ministers and Rose Chibambo, who was a deputy minister. Others resigned in protest except two from the Central Region. Those who left were the cream of MCP.
“…….it seems there are people close to Chakwera who have instigated misunderstanding with some of his brightest cohorts like fired director of research Felix Jumbe, sacked spokesperson Jessie Kabwila, secretary general Gustuv Kaliwo and vice-president Richard Msowoya. This is a pity.
“One of these people using financial muscle, has publicly declared to shove aside one of these leaders. My advice to Chakwera is: Rise above intrigue. Flatterers are never true friends. Judas Iscariot kissed Jesus while handling him to his enemies,” said DD Phiri.
D. D. Phiri, is a Malawian author, economist, historian, and playwright. He has published 17 books in the fields of history, sociology and economics and was recognized by the Pan-African Writers’ Association (PAWA) as one of the top 23 authors in Africa in 2011.