Things are not falling into place for you, Mr Vice President. Everything you do is ending up a goof.
In the past three months, you have had moments that would have made you. You have ended up unmaking yourself, and many people now fear your end looks certain.
In the two months before June 6, you were the politician of the moment. Everyone was talking about you. We were eating from your palms. Both mainstream and social media were abuzz with Saulos Chilima.
Your strategy to keep quiet built up expectation, exasperation even. Your popularity rating soared. Political parties started looking into themselves for adequacies with which to face you.
That day June 6, hours before your press briefing, Malawi stood still, literally. There has never been such a day in Malawi in recent memory. Every media house in the country was at your press briefing. This is was your day!
Came the delivery: People saw an out-of-sorts Vice President, one who seemed reading from the script he had not prepared himself. You looked weighed down by the moment.
And you said nothing, expect that you would not go to the DPP convention. Even school boys knew that you had chickened out of the DPP Convention because you could not run the course. You said in The Nation “I don’t want to fight the owners of the Party”. You sounded like a coward.
You may have read the reactions from people and you know how you disappointed them. Complete disappointment. But worse. Malawians started seeing that you are a joke and the entire Chilima thing became Chilima Drama Group.
You are weak Mr Vice President. Now people know the script you are playing is not yours. We know you don’t make your own decision. You are being pushed by other people. As a result, you are very uncertain in whatever you say or do. Your lack of self-confidence is more than clear now. You look confused.
You don’t know critical moments. Or to take advantage of them. In politics, those moments don’t come twice. They come once. You seize them, and people rally around your principle for the rest of the time. You messed up the opportunity and your momentum fell dramatically.
On 6 June, you said you were going to break the silence with a Press Conference. One month later, you told us you were going to break the silence again in a Zodiak interview. Now you tell us you are going to break the silence yet again by writing a letter of resignation to the DPP. The fact that you keep breaking silences should tell you that NOTHING IS BEING HEARD in what you are saying. Your voice is not reaching the people.
After that 6 June poor performance, you went back into hiding while members of your movement have been trying to sell you to the public. They have been flying posters about you speaking at one of their rallies. You have not been turning up.
It has been hard for them because now they do not know what political principle you stand for. Without leadership and without a principle, there is no rally at which your people have delivered a solid take-home message.
In the shadows where you have been reading a book of proverbs, you have kept smearing propaganda against the President. You have not stopped trying to steal the limelight from him.
But here is free advice. You don’t become a better leader by smearing your Opponent. You don’t stop your own house from leaking by throwing stones on your neighbour’s roof.
Meanwhile, on the way, the queue for you keeps getting shorter and shorter.
Have you seen the number of cartoons that have come up in the mainstream papers mocking you since June 6?
Have you seen how your proverbs have become fodder for ridicule on social media?
Then, the Catholic Bishops whom you have been trying to exploit for your political ambition have rejected you. There was a time it felt you had won them over. But they have realized that the church and its people are bigger and more important; so they have made their position clear to you: “We the Catholic Bishops in Malawi, cannot and shall not support or endorse any particular politician or political party.” That is what they said in their statement on June 29, 2018.
You have tried to prop up your collapsing image. You tried to push the motion of age limit for the president in Parliament. It failed. You do not need to be reminded about that scathing comment from MCP MP Peter Dimba in Parliament.
Actually, what Dimba did was to attack the very principle you have been trying to sell yourself on. And Dimba’s comment is representative of how Malawians feel about you. This you now know.
You have tried all sorts of smear campaign against the President. Nothing is working. And you find yourself having to look for new equipment and hatch new strategy.
Wednesday was an opportunity for you to at least try to salvage your image. There was some modest public expectation for that interview on Zodiak Broadcasting Station. A second chance.
The advert was that you would be finally breaking the silence on your political future. This was a very bad line. That you want the presidential candidacy was the main thing you said. But who did not know it before this interview?
As for the rest of the things you said in there, you know what Malawians are saying about them.
“I stand with my Vice President! We must transform. How? I don’t know just like he doesn’t know too,” goes one post on facebook.
Another reads, “The way Chilima is hyped, you would expect strong points and a strong speech from him… You know the Obama type… but nah, mbwelela zokha zokha.”
“…the silence continues,” says another post.
Like in the June 6 briefing, you looked not sure of the direction you want to take. You felt like a mouse, trapped but alive -and deeply anxious about what the owner of the trap might do to you next.
You offered nothing and you, yet again, postponed people’s expectations to Part 3 of your movie.
You did attempt to build a value system around yourself, but you were not even sure of it because you know you have your own skeletons.
For instance, if you want to talk about nepotism, anyone who throws a stone at your office is sure to have that stone landing on the head of a Ngoni from Ntcheu or a relation of your friend. This you know is one of the problems you have.
The harder you tried, the more you ended up praising the values of the man and the party you have chosen to make your enemy. You ended up speaking highly about programmes such as malata subsidy and community technical colleges.
Nor can you talk about values Mr Vice President when your campaign is driven by people who do not have values themselves.
You have not proven that you are the alternative and you have alternatives.
It is becoming a sympathetic turn of events for you. At every turn, you have been driving yourself to the lowest point of discredit. It is tragi-comic.
But very few people are surprised. For this was not your plan.
Your plan was to take over the DPP – now and not in 2023. You worked at it. You drove the party through intrigues to get your way.
You have been in too much hurry. Your ambition blinded you to the fact that you were an outsider in the party. You had not grown through its system. You keep talking of resigning from the party as if the party regards you as one of them. You are not. You have never been.
You did not know that none of your plots would maim the centre of the party.
You ended up working with rejects to unseat its leadership. It was never going to work.
Now that your plots have failed, you have found yourself walking still but going nowhere and not going back. We fear for you!