Monday, 15 April 2013
The announcement that Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwela will contest for the hot seat of Presidency of the once mighty Malawi Congress Party has generated debate and interest. Perhaps its because a seemingly credible candidate has expressed interest to enter a field that is not for those with weaker hearts. If MCP elects Dr Chakwela as its torch bearer, they will have secured a "credible" candidate with less known skeletons and perhaps who has some proven integrity in his social and professional life.
The unanswered question is whether Dr Chakwela is running as a preferred Hon. John Tembo's candidate. This means JT bowing out of active political life in view of the restrictions imposed by the MCP constitution.
Assuming the above is true and Chakwela is elected, what will make people either "kukwela" or not "kukwela" Chakwela"? The first will be people's perception regarding the "behind the scene" role of Hon John Tembo and whether MCP is really a changed party. I think they are a changed party but in life perception matters. The second will be the support he will get from within the party especially from the losing losing candidates. The third will be his organisation abilities, soberness, tactics and calibre of the new look MCP team that he will be available for his campaign.
In his fight for Malawi Presidency, Dr. Chakwela will certainly need coalition partners and this is where it will start getting tricky. UDF's Atupele Muluzi strongly believes he is strong candidate based on crowds he has pulled so far during his change agenda tours. I however doubt that he can be elected as President of Malawi in 2014 if UDF goes to the polls as a single entity. The most likely coalition partner of UDF would be a depleted DPP. Depending on how the case against Peter and his Midnight Six Disciples shape up, DPP are likely to disintegrate if the case goes against them. UDF would thus jump on the chance perhaps giving the likely DPP President a breathing space to rebuild.
The love-hate relationship of UDF and DPP may however create a situation where a coalition is impossible. This may just give room to MCP to invite DPP to be their bed-partner.
The remaining smaller parties will be scrambling for remnants and their leaders will push the followers to join whichever coalition that offers a likely better future.
Here is the last question to ponder. As most politicians lie and play dirty games with electorate, will Rev Dr. Lazarus Chakwela throw away his collar and join the bandwagon?
One thing Pastors turned politician fail to learn quickly is that unlike in Church where you are not questioned on what you preach as you derive authority from the Almighty through the Bible, in politics you are questioned and challenged every second of your life.
I can only hope that Dr Chakwela understands this. Let us wish him well as his Journey continues