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Thursday, May 23, 2024

DPP will not be affected by the expulsion of Nankhumwa, his lieutenants

By Lyson Sibande

GOOD OLD DAYS: Mutharika, Nankhumwa

The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party -DPP will not be really affected by expulsion of its former vice president for the southern region Kondwani Nankhumwa and others.

Yes, there will obviously be some confusion and frustrations resulting from the state of denial from other members and supporters of DPP who loved the expelled members.

But that will be short-lived. I will give it a few weeks depending on subsequent developments that might follow the expulsions, but they will quickly heal and accept that verdict.

As a matter of fact, the chances of DPP winning the 2025 Presidential Elections have not really been affected with the mass expulsions. I will tell you why, just follow me.

In 2011, Joyce Banda and Khumbo Kachali were expelled from DPP and they formed PP.

Then Bingu died and mass defections of heavy weights including DPP Secretary General, Wakuda Kamanga followed. But DPP still won the 2014 Elections from the Opposition.

Chilima and Mutharika before partying ways

Again in 2018, Vice President Saulos Chilima left DPP and formed UTM. Others followed him, but in 2019 DPP still won the 2019 elections without even rigging and retained power.

You will notice that DPP did not forfeit its winning chances through the expulsions, resignations and mass defections that were influenced by Joyce Banda and Saulos Chilima.

Yet, Joyce Banda and Chilima were more powerful and capable leaders than Kondwani Nankhumwa. Nankhumwa cannot achieve what JB and SKC failed.

DPP and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are the strongest parties in this country because they command the largest numbers of loyal supporters. MCP survived 25 years in the Opposition because of such a huge base of loyal supporters.

Loyal supporters are mostly rural-based and exist at the very grassroot level within the party structures. They have strong unshakable and undying sense of ownership of the party. And their loyalty and love is to the party, not to the party leaders.

Now, DPP kept winning Presidential elections in 2014 and 2019 regardless of JB and SKC because the party still retained the loyal supporters. When JB and SKC left with their lieutenants, the loyal supporters who own the party in the villages and towns remained in the party.

They supported JB, SKC and Nankhumwa when these were in DPP, but when they left; these supporters remained in the party. They don’t abandon their party for the love of a particular leader. The same has been happening with MCP for close to 3 decades now.

The voters that JB and SKC took with them were the non-affiliated and swinging voters. These are the type of supporters or voters who are not loyal to any party. They can change sides or even chose not to support any party or not vote at all. They are mostly intelligent because the switch sides depending on which side makes sense to them or can benefit them.

PP founder Joyce Banda

In Malawi, these voters are mostly based in the urban areas. They are a direct opposite of the loyal supporters in most respects including geographical location, age group, levels of education, income levels, etc.

Unfortunately, they are very few in number and they can’t produce a president. That is why SKC failed miserably despite popularity and capability because his supporters comprised of this type of voters.

Nankhumwa will just follow the path of SKC and JB. He will leave with his foot soldiers and few guys, but he will never be voted President of this country. DPP can still win the 2025 Elections with whomever candidate the party picks.

There are some people who think that expulsions affect DPP chances of winning because of the 50%+1 electoral system. I strongly disagree with that.

Both, MCP and DPP cannot really get the 50% +1 if UTM and other parties contest independently. But only MCP and DPP can still win with 50%+1 even without alliances because if all parties contest independently in 2025, there will be an obvious run-off (rerun) election whereby only MCP and DPP will contest in the second round. At that point, either DPP or MCP will win.

My argument is that Nankhumwa and others can never take enough numbers from DPP to remove it from being the first or second strongest party in Malawi. Even if Nankhumwa forms his own party or forms an alliance with Chilima, they will never displace DPP or MCP. They can never win an election no matter what

My advice to Nankhumwa is simple: Humble yourself. Go back to DPP and apologize. You are still young and your political future is still in DPP.

 If you ignore this advice, then your future is doomed. I said the same about Chilima, he did not listen. You will end up like him. Humble yourself, return to DPP with an apology.

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