Albert Einstein is broadly credited with exclaiming the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Just few days before the 2014 tripartite elections, the author, did share an analysis and prediction as to who was likely to emerge victorious during the elections.
The analysis and prediction was based on subjecting some tests that the author believes determine the electorate choice of a ruling party to be. Such determinants were and remain, the party’s or its leaders’ history of national development; the party’s or leaders human rights record; and other subsidiary factors.
The analysis considered the then default ruling party, the PP of Dr. Joyce Banda, the mighty DPP as led by Professor Arthur Peter Muttharika, the MCP with Dr. Lazarus Chakwera as its torch bearer and UDF as led by the young and vibrant Atupele Muluzi. Subjecting these four parties to the test of their history to national development, be it infrastructure and otherwise, the PP and UDF failed the test, hence remaining with the MCP and the mighty DPP.
In addition to poor record of national development, the PP also featured very poorly when it was subjected to prudent financial and public resources management due to its presiding over the worst plunder of public resources deemed cashgate.
The mighty DPP and the MCP were found to have immensely contributed to national development during their time in office. The analysis did not take into consideration as to which party contributed the most as they had served different timeframe, with the MCP staying in power for 31years and 8 years for the mighty DPP, though a crude analysis would point to an outstanding performance by the mighty DPP. With PP and UDF fallen off, the MCP and mighty DPP were then considered on the basis of human rights record.
The analysis concluded that the MCP had a very tormenting human rights record that any mention to its past, makes the party leadership frown and grin with anger and disdain. The party hates its past so much so that, the closest it has come to is to offer a blanket apology to Malawians for crimes it can hardly cite. Such blanket apology were offered by the late President Dr. H.K. Banda; then JZU Tembo and of course the current leader, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.
The analysis therefore correctly predicted the victory of HE APMs mighty DPP. As expected then, the MCP, PP and UDF sympathisers on the social media ganged up to trash the analysis, each one of them declaring their parties to emerge victorious in the tripartite elections. Well, what happened is now history. Surprisingly, despite the worst human rights record by the MCP, despite the urgent need to engage in massive rebranding and transformation of the MCP to attempt to shake off the tainted past, the party has only succeeded to prove to Malawians that it arrogantly remains a notorious party that will not hesitate to unleash violence, discard the rule of law, throw suspects into prisons without affording them the right to be heard in a competent court of law among other atrocities, its sympathisers believe they can form the next government in 2019.
Whether this is due to distorted institutional memory, brainwashing or outright ignorance, one can only hope that the MCP wakes up to reality and does that fast, otherwise are sick and tired of the same old song of atibera mavoti, when the truth is they have a lot of work to do to try to shake off the image that is so tainted that it is only the absence of a strong competitor for the position of the opposition party, that the MCP gets solace from.
It is not a bad idea to be optimistic, but it is also important to be realistic. Expecting Malawians to vote MCP into government, is a far-fetched dream, the problem of the MCP is deep rooted and structural in nature, it transcends beyond changing its leadership. (By James Mwangalli)