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Saturday, April 20, 2024

MCP PRACTICES MATURE DEMOCRACY: As history repeats itself, everyone is free to contest

Some old guards are targeting to block Man of the Moment Engineer Mumba for fear of competition

Those who coined the adage above (history repeats itself) must have done a thorough empirical research. So in 1943, leaders of the Nyasaland Native Associations formed the Nyasaland African Congress that later became the Malawi Congress Party in order to nationalize the freedom movement. The masterminds were Levi Ziliro MUMBA and James Fredrick Sangala.

In the late 50s, it was apparent that the Movement needed a charismatic, fearless leader who would add impetus to the fight for independence from the British rule

Dr Kamuzu Banda who was then practicing medicine in Kilburn-London and later in Kumasi, Ghana was identified and invited in 1958 to take over leadership of the party.
Dr Banda as a new comer into the party faced resistance by others but they did not prevail because change is inevitable. Those that did not welcome the new comer, Dr Banda like the Katsongas formed their own parties (so we had multiparty in the early 60s)

So exactly after 50 years (from 1963-1913), history in this mighty party repeated itself.
It was conspicuously clear that as JZU was retiring having served and preserved the party in the opposition, the party needed a new leader outside the ranks and file.A charismatic leader who would revitalize the party and change its image and brand that had been greatly battered and impaired.

The Very Reverend Dr Lazarus Chakwera was identified and as destiny would have it, he heeded the call.That did not please some of the giants in the party who tried to do everything possible to block him.He was resisted, intimidated, disparaged and embarrassed on numerous occasions but that did not stop change.

I remember one morning, we woke up to the embarrassing news that JZU had rejected his convention contribution that he had made through Chatinkha.It was quite embarrassing but change still came.They set so many snares for him and mooted so many ill-conceived ideas to frustrate him but it never worked.

It was the convention delegates that Saturday morning who gave a verdict and birthed change as Hon Kamphamphe led the hymn ‘kanthu koipa sikangalowemo’ in the NRC convention hall.Change inevitably came, the party got revitalized and many including Yours Truly got inspired to join the revolution. It was in fact on the convention Sunday afternoon as I listened to HE’s acceptance speech outside the convention hall with a Security guy clad in the ‘original youth attire’ that I got inspired to join active politics and the following week I was on the way to Phirilanjuzi to introduce myself to my home Area Committee and by grace won the parliamentary race which was just 6 months away.
Change still came (with Dr Chakwera) despite the fierce resistance.

He has brought so much life to the party

‘The New Comer’ Dr Chakwera brought so much life to the party.He spruced up the party whose brand had been heavily bruised by the constant poundings of our political foes in the 2nd multiparty dispensation.The new comer made the party which at some point was quite unfashionable to associate with, very attractive.Many Malawians saw hope in the party through the New Comer.

It was this political revival that brought the Mkakas and Chimwendo’s in the limelight.No one would’ve known that there was a political giant, a bulldozer in Hon Chimwendo until he was ushered in by this change and given a platform and a microphone.This indicates that there are so many political giants whose political prowess is veiled because they have no position, platform and microphone.I’m actually reminded of our new Finance Minister who was one of those who used to fund MCP Renaissance which Hon Mkaka was chairing.Not many on his appointment gave him a chance that he would steer the economic ship to stability as is the case now.It is the platform to a new comer that makes the difference.

The return of the Malawi Congress Party to power in 2020, epitomized the change that Dr Chakwera had brought to our party. So many new comers most of whom were in Govt in 2013, joined us as we were preparing for the 2018 convention. The thriving intraparty democracy in the party made them feel home. They were given big positions and worked so hard to have the President win the elections.

The new comers benefited from the welcoming spirit in the party. It is therefore surprising and ironical that those who benefited from the status quo want to bar others. Just like Hon Uladi Musa who has just joined us and deserves a position at the fourth coming convention, the Hon Minister of Homeland Security was just two months into the party when we gave him a big position and is now one of our giants.

What really matters in a political organization like ours is not how long one stays but how much political value one adds. It is therefore selfishness and pure witchcraft for a beneficiary of a political culture that welcomes new comers to scheme and advance the idea of banning others to take positions in the party and bring political value addition for us to retain power.

Our solace is in the fact that our President is a man full of wisdom and understanding who will never allow the wishes of those who have failed the party to materialize and allow the party to degenerate into chaos. Every Malawian who has expressed interest to run for any position (except the presidency which is an already settled matter) should be allowed to compete.

All this hullabaloo is coming in probably because many of the incumbent NEC members have not performed well and know pretty well that they will not be re-elected.So as they say; ‘in a court presided over by cats, a mouse can never receive Justice’

In 2024, most of those who were welcomed as new comers have become old guards and formed a blockade and a confederacy to block others after tasting the sweetness of positions and power.

They are against the same system and welcoming culture they benefited from. They want to change the goal posts so that the new comers should not see the net but this already failed in 1963, it failed in 2013 and it will never work in 2023 (24 fiscal year) because the powers in our party are derived from the grassroots who are the owners of this party. Unlike other parties, this party is not anyone’s personal entity and no one gets to impose themselves on the people unless they choose him/her. The political powers in our party are not vested in a small group of elites at the top, they are vested in the grassroots whose delegates choose who they want to lead their party every 5 years at a convention.

We pray and hope that our beloved President will not allow people that have failed to serve the party well to hold it at ransom in trying to protect themselves from competition.

History repeats itself self but change is inevitable.

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