By Pacharo Felix Munthali
Primordially like a prescription issued by a doctor, with no traits of drugs traceable in pharmacy, it was like a sheer witticism when one Kajiso Gondwe, UDF governor for the north stunned the nation, coming out of his cocoon to bring to light, the issue that myriad of UDF gurus were dilly-dallying to comment on, that the first president in the first years of democracy, come what may, will make a come back and take part in 2009 presidential elections.
As if other regional governors and some politicians were impetuously waiting in wings, putting every action and reaction under the microscope, probably ready to seize any opportunity that may crop up, they abut on the bandwagon of individuals championing for Bakili Muluzi to run in 2009 presidential race. Frankly speaking, what has followed is a mad rush of individuals calling beyond God’s heavens that the former president should run again at all cost.
Meticulously anatomising a legion of those fighting for the running of Bakili Muluzi, people of different aspirations, education, sense of responsibility and of course, political successes, it is lucid that some of them like Cheperone winds fickle. One of them that is not only intriguing, but also intricate to elucidate is one time godfather of the lower Shire, a person, who when MCP was sailing through troubled water was as calm as cucumber, a person who with his infant RP managed to secure not less than 16 seats in parliament. That’s Gwanda Chakuamba, probably his side of strengths.
Nevertheless, the man also has a side that up to date overshadows any drip of success his life revelled in.
Just a miniscule dose of his bygone days, the man contested in the presidential elections twice and lost to the very same Muluzi in 1999 general elections and to Mutharika in 2004, after all these elections the man had vehemently been speaking in tongues that the results were not true reflections of votes of electorates. He claimed to have been robbed.
The man is an industrious actor in as far as amusing people with his unpredictable movements that if he were a striker, he would have teased defenders this way and that at will. He is probably the only politician who has manoeuvred a lot, jumping from one party to another. Remember he dumped MCP for UDF then back to MCP. From MCP, he formed his Republican Party, before joining UDF, dumping it for DPP; from DPP he formed New Republican Party before going back to UDF. After RP had refused to be used as his briefcase, now NRP is his briefcase. He is amorphous.
He left MCP after the leadership wrangles, before illegally attempting to deregister his RP for having joined DPP. To him to be given MG5 for MG3 was a sign of demotion and he dumped the government in the process. At times he had not been good to Muluzi either, having a better part of Muluzi’s credentials during campaigns was one of his hobbies, before now becoming vocal presumably from his political graveyard in this Ayimanso slogan.
The call by Chakuamba that all opposition parties should join hands to defeat Mutharika is not only impossible, by examining how Chakuamba and Tembo were, but also ill intentioned. It is more of a conspiracy than being a call intoxicated with ingredients of rationality. Its typical of definition of politics called Ndale in Malawian context.
In a sudden paradox of his claims, the political instability, economic mismanagement and corruption are some of the reasons enough for the opposition to gang up in attempt to defeat Mutharika, yet the very same reasons were at play when the country was locked up in financial mix-up during the second term of democracy. The nation needs not to point out at debt relief, for the first time in as many years, tunes of hunger are no longer making rounds, and the inflow of monies from donors, and the list is just endless. He should know is that to put economy back on track especially the one that was messed up pathetically, its difficult, especially in the environment where oppositional party parties motives are to enrich themselves and pin you down.
One then can be put in wonderland if his reportedly support to defeat Mutharika is indeed built on true senses, not to serve personal vendetta. Further, one is short of words when she/he tries to find the proper reason why the man from his comatose is back, because any reason he will forward will be like he is just recycling it further.
Was he (Chakuamba) not the one who was full of praises of Mutharika when they were together in government, before saying all negative later? Muluzi was not spared either. The problem is that the politicians in this country are more of the gormandisers; always seizing opportunities by the neck where it seems the opportunity is about to glow. Chakuamba pretty well knows that if Muluzi is allowed to contest, judging based on the last three general elections, with his charisma that can leave Bush foaming with envy, assurance of winning is high, at least Gwanda Chakuamba will as well be guaranteed of being a Minister of …and enjoy himself beyond boundaries.
When with DPP, he said, he was in politics not for personal aggrandisement, but help Bingu develop the nation. But when he dumped government the reasons he gave for leaving government were to do with his personal enjoyment rather than being of developmental concern. Critically putting under the microscope Mbuya’s speech in Balaka it lucidly depicts traits of some kind of individual aggrandisement than a passive eye can make out.
Or will it be wrong to put Chakuamba in the same category with Khwauli Msiska, a man who was used by the UDF to move that infamous impeachment?
The political dinosaurs like Gwanda Chakuamba are supposed to leave the scene to the new blood, as he once said, it is better for him to concentrate on religious issues. Apparently Chakuamba is fond of just saying whatever comes to his mind, when he lost in 1999 elections he said he would go to jungle.
May be the adage that there is no permanent enmity in the gamble of politics is not only valid, but legitimate as well as our politicians more than frequent have proved it true. Gwanda being one of them is proving it beyond limits of scruples.
If he still depends on his archaic formula, where electorates instead of being bosses are reduced to mere slaves of politicians, being swayed from one party to another, then his abyss is in the offing. His last lesson is just a stone throwaway distance. May be Muluzi is also thinking that Chakuamba still commands that overwhelming support hence allowing Chakuamba on board. But the man whilst in DPP he did not hide his ambition of being the Veep. Will other gurus just watch? Typical of Chakuamba, wherever he is disagreements are always there? The same is just a matter of time before happening.
Whether his calls for Muluzi are in good faith or of Khwauli Msiska’s style, whoever will lick the benefits, the great loser will be Mbuya. Whatever his motives are, only time will tell. Also, the aspirations for Muluzi to stand depend on the Malawi Law Commission’s review of the section 83 of the Republic Constitution of Malawi as regards to his come back.
The debates on Muluzi’s stand will keep on growing stronger, the same on Gwanda’s come back, but it is not known who will win, is it Muluzi? Or Chakuamba (Personal nourishment)? May be both? But as it was in the Third Term Bill the sacrifice was there, and one will be slaughtered as well.
All in all his time is overdue, had it been that he maintained that calmness that would have left political prostitutes that are already in different pockets of local political landscape foaming with envy, integrity that can not be described, for sure everybody, despite losing the elections in 2004 would have thought otherwise, but the present movements leaves a great deal to be desired, hence total disapproval of his come back.
By Pacharo Felix Munthali
P.O. Box 280
The author is Third year student at Chancellor College.