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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

ROAD TO 2025: Why Peter Mutharika is a threat to Lazarus Chakwera, other presidential candidates  

By Rick Dzida

Have you wondered why there are calls to amend the constitution so that the elderly should not stand for presidency? Did you know why 50%+1 as a means of determining a presidential winner was introduced?  It is all because Arthur Peter Mutharika- APM is a threat to other presidential candidates.

This article therefore discusses how APM remains a threat in 2025 presidential race.

APM is the most experienced presidential candidate

It is justifiable for all presidential candidates to be paranoid when the name of APM is mentioned in the presidential race.

This is so because APM is highly experienced both politically and academically. He comes with six years experience of being the State President of Malawi. In contrast, by 2025 President Chakwera will only have 5 years experience of leading this country.

APM held various ministerial positions including Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Minister of Foreign affairs and many others.

Before his ascendancy to power, APM held various ministerial positions including Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Minister of Foreign affairs and many others.

However, Dr. Chakwera had not held any ministerial position before he became president of Malawi. This is why he finds it difficult to appoint appropriate individuals in crucial positions.

To keep this write-up short, I will not delve much into APM’s career profile. However, it is suffice to say that he was once a professor of law in the United States of America for over 40 years while Chakwera was simply a Principal at Zomba Theological College.

 APM is patient

APM has proved to be a well-composed and patient president who ever existed in Malawi.

Two notable incidents are worth mentioning.  First, the tug of war between APM and Kondwani Nankhumwa has proven to many Malawians that APM is a resilient leader.

People thought APM had lost the tussle to Kondwani Nankhumwa after a series of court injunctions. However, Malawians were mesmerized with APM’s timing when he reshuffled members of the DPP National Governing Council (NGC).

GOOD OLD DAYS : Nankhumwa and Mutharika

This coerced the embattled Kondwani Nankhumwa to relinquish his position of Vice President for the South region to a mere presidential advisor. Appealing this move to the court proved futile to Kondwani Nankhumwa because the Court sustained APM’s move.

The second incident was the time before 2020 fresh presidential elections when APM was castigated from left and right.  There was a time when  he diverted his presidential convoy taking a dusty road just to avoid a head-on clash with violent demonstrators. That is the patient APM for you.

 APM is well known for kicking out incumbent presidents during elections

It is widely believed that the number of votes in any elections separates the giant from the weak.

Dr. Joyce Banda faulted Bingu wa Mutharika for grooming his brother as his successor.

However, when Bingu died, the then Vice President Joyce Banda took over power in accordance with the Malawi Constitution. Nature has its own way of sorting things out.

PP founder Joyce Banda was defeated by APM

With all the Government resources, it was surprising to learn that Joyce Banda lost elections to Bingu’s groomed brother, Peter Mutharika in 2014.

Is it surprising now that Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is paranoid of Prof. Peter Mutharika?

 APM already knocked out Dr. Lazarus Chakwera in 2019

Everyone knows that Peter Mutharika emerged the victor in 2019 beating Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.

For your information, these elections were free and fair because even the Constitutional Court did not find any evidence of rigging.

Malawians are suffering: Mutharika seems to be telling Chakwera

The fact is that if we can embrace the first past the post to determine the winner of presidential elections, APM will always emerge the winner over Chakwera.

In fact, 50% + 1 was deliberately induced by the court to force political parties to enter into electoral alliance because APM was an outright winner when using first past the post system.

The worsening economy in the country gives APM an upper hand

Many Malawians unanimously agree that Malawi’s economy was fairly stable under the tutelage of APM. They obviously fault President Chakwera for messing up  the economy.

Prices of essential goods and services under Chakwera have skyrocketed. Life of a common man has become unbearable.

Most Malawians prefer APM to come back on the driving seat so that he can resuscitate the ailing Malawi’s economy.

DPP is widely considered as a development conscious party

There are many infrastructural developments that are attached to APM regime. This is why many Malawians want APM back on the mantle for him to continue such developments.

Some outstanding infrastructural developments attributable to APM are the Area 18 interchange, improved road network, district hospitals, community colleges and many more.

File Photo: Former President Peter Mutharika during the official opening of Ngala Community College

Have you wondered why the whole President Chakwera changed the name of Phalombe  district hospital  to John Chilembwe Hospital? If he is development conscious, why didn’t he construct a new hospital and name it thus?

 Many Malawians believe that APM was robbed of his victory in 2019 elections

Statisticians unanimously agree that the results of 2019 presidential election and 2020 fresh presidential election were significantly similar.

Furthermore, besides being declared free and fair by international observers, the Constitutional court admitted that it did not find any evidence of rigging or electoral fraud.

This implies that the nullification of 2019 presidential election was a scam and it is reasonable to conclude that APM was indeed robbed of his victory.

It is against this background that the electorate may be persuaded to give a sympathy vote to APM.

DPP is considered as a pro-poor party

Many Malawians feel that DPP used to implement policies that benefited the poor and the disadvantaged.

People are of the view that if DPP was in power, it could not have implemented an abrupt 44% Kwacha devaluation that consequently raised the cost of living for a common Malawian.

Many Malawians feel duped by Tonse Alliance empty promises

Much as DPP did not fulfill all the promises, Malawians are regretting for voting Tonse Alliance into power. They have realized that the current regime deliberately lied to the electorate.

Corruption is high. People can’t afford three meals a day as promised because  there is looming hunger. The promised cheap fertilizer has become unaffordable. This list is non-exhaustive.

Voters feel that it is only APM who can Malawi great again

After comparing performances of APM and Chakwera as presidents, many Malawians are convinced that it is only APM who can make Malawi great again.

People envision a stable local currency, well-managed economy and affordable life under the dynamic and visionary leadership of APM.

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