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Wednesday, April 17, 2024


By Steven Nhlane, Nation Newspaper

Old good days: Nankhumwa, Mutharika

Knowing where to stop, what is doable and what is not very important in life and especially in politics. But such skill requires discernment, which I am afraid to say, Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa may not have been gifted with, I have no doubt that if he had such he would have embraced is expulsion from the DPP with glee.

One thing I can quarantine is that he is out and out of DPP. This is not even an exaggeration to say his political base has somehow crumbled, not just because of his expulsion from the party but more importantly over a score or so members of parliament (MPs) Who are sympathetic him have settled him.

That notwithstanding, it is not fair to say this is not the end of the road for him politically, Nankhumwa is still MP for Mulanje Central Constituency till next year when he will have to seek people’s mandate to reclaim the parliamentary seat.

But fate and relevance the country’s political space depends on he will play his cards from now up to September 2025. The bottom line is that one should be able to see the red lights and respond accordingly; read the writings on the wall and act on them well.

One should also know when to make an about-turn when the high waters are neck-high and you just can’t continue forcing yourself to traverse a path that leads to nowhere, simply put. One should smell the coffee.

When DPP members were jubilating over Nankhumwa’s expulsion from the party alongside other DPP members, what did he think the excitement was for?, More fundamentally, It was for the fact that his political wings had been well and truly dipped and he was now set to roll down the hit.

One of the most hurtful stings in the expulsion from the party is that he will not continue to be the Leader of Opposition (LoP), on that one I can guarantee.

It is not rocket science, from the cluster of all backbenchers in parliament, LoP comes from the opposition party represented in the house.

 But by default, Nankhumwa is now an independent legislator, so anytime DPP presses the reset button to remove the LoP honours from him, the clever thing for him to do is not to gracefully bow out, anything to the contrary will just be kicks of a dying horse.

And for all the bashing that former president Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) has endured that he is too slow to act on crucial issues concerning the DPP, the man has been more than patient with Nankhumwa and all those who were in his faction.

Who knew of the overarching powers that Article 10 (8) and 10 (9) of the DPP Constitution read with Article 6 (code of Ethics and conduct) give the party’s president Article 10 (8) says; “The president shall have powers to assign a member of the National Governing Council (NGC) to any public or political office, unless otherwise directed by the President, a member so assigned or so appointed shall cease to hold his original office in the National Governing Council”.

Article 10 (9) says; “A member of National Governing Council may be removed from his or her position by the Central Committee upon the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee”.

These provisions have all along been in the DPP Constitution, and APM was at liberty to invoke them at any material time, But he did not, Unfortunately, it looks to me Nankhumwa who DPP says has Sued the party 17 times in the past three years, and put the party in disrepute, took APM’s patience for granted, DPP sees this wanton breach of party’s code of ethics and conduct as scandalous. APM has the last laugh.

Following the party, Nankhumwa will not even be at the DPP convention where he would have challenged APM for the position of party president.

There at the convention he would have tested his influence and popularity within the rank and file of the party members. Now he has to wait for September 2025 to do that, whether as an independent presidential candidate or for another political party.

Not even efforts to put a cap on the age of presidential candidates will change Nankhumwa’s fate. A bill to stop APM from appearing on the ballot paper in 2025 on account of his will be ill-timed. Laws should not be made with certain individuals in mind. Let Voters choose who they want to lead them.

“For now, we can conclude, without fear of contradiction, that taking APM’s patience for granted has boomeranged big time on Nankhumwa”

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