Member of Parliament Patricia Kaliati is struggling to convince her own constituency committee to follow her rebellion against Professor Peter Mutharika.
The Constituency has literally rebelled against Kaliati for rebelling against Mutharika. In fact, the Constituency leaders describe Mutharika as “Our President”.
In one meeting, the Constituency leaders openly told Kaliati to follow Mutharika and not Chilima.
Instead, Kaliati called to her home in Nkando the Constituency Governor, …. Nakari, and mobilized thugs to beat him to death.
“You are the one who is blocking the constituency from following Chilima,” Kaliati told Nakari.
Several men dragged Nakari out into the dark and started beating him. He heard voices, “Let’s just kill him because he is going to expose us.” But others said “No, let’s not kill him.”
Someone came in and handcuffed Nakari so that they should take him to police on tramped up charges.
In a dramatic turn, someone within the group betrayed the conspiracy and alerted some higher authorities. Police came and intervened. The matter is now in court at Mulanje.
Kaliati proceeded and fired Nakari as Constituency Governor. But the firing and the beating up of the governor has only galvanized the people against Kaliati and her Chilima stance.
Kaliati is one of the few faces in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party who are pushing for the Chilima candidacy against the resistance of the people.
In the very first constituency meeting on the matter, she told the people that DPP needed a youthful Chilima for 2019.
“But our chair (Nakari) asked her if we should also look for a younger woman to replace her as MP. She said she was only talking about the Presidency. We knew she was being dishonest. We rejected her idea,” said one member of the committee in an interview during our visit to the constituency on Sunday.
Listening to them, you can almost admire the people’s political logic. The constituents said as far as they were concerned, Chilima does not have a party. As party areas, they cannot understand why they should leave a leader with a party with structures and follow someone who does not have a party.
“Chilima does not have a party. We think Kaliati wants to sell us to MCP or another party and we will not allow that to happen.”
On the next point, they speak with heated passion. “Look at the electricity in this village! Look at the tarmac road from Phalombe! Did this come with Chilima?”
“For us here, Professor Mutharika is presidential candidate for the DPP in 2019. We don’t see the need to change him because he is bringing us development. It is him who will tell us who will be DPP presidential candidate in 2024,” said another member of the committee at Namphungo Trading Centre.
On this Sunday afternoon, Kaliati sent someone to distribute for free salt and zitenje at Namphungo. But nobody cared about the MP’s free gifts.
According to them, Kaliati has even been lying to them that Chilima comes from Mulanje Pasani, just to make them think he is one of their own.
The challenge against Kaliati exposes that the belief that she is indispensable is only a myth. Her constituency is thinking otherwise.
We learnt that ahead of the 2014 election, voters in the area felt that Kaliati had overstayed as MP and they wanted her replaced. She has been MP in the area since1999.
“We noted that she was running out of ideas. We wanted a change in 2014 but we did not have an alternative. Her recent actions are proving us right,” said another member of the constituency committee from Khwalala area.
One teacher observed that Kaliati’s reaction to her ministerial dismissal has been noticeable in the constituency.
“Since she was sacked as Minister last year, she has been conducting less and less meetings here. She has been losing touch with the people on the ground.”
This political observer could not explain whether Kaliati got too angry against her party for being fired or that she is losing the financial ability to conduct meetings.
But all is not well for the Kaliati who used to breathe political fire. She is becoming a reject in her own home and a criminal beating her constituency governor and driving a stolen car.
Two weeks ago, police confiscated from her compound a Toyota Fortuner, a stolen car which she bought after being kicked from cabinet. On Friday of the 1st June, she was begging fuel for the Nissan Tiida which she had used to travel to a press briefing of the pro-Chilima camp in Lilongwe. Lastly, her own husband Angie Kaliati has publicly disowned her and denounced her political position.
Patricia Kaliati has for years walked the myth of being invincible and indispensable. Now she has goofed with Chilima.