Last week I gave my analysis of some of the DPP’s aspiring presidential candidates where I profiled what in my opinion are the strengths and weaknesses for Dr Dalitso Kabambe, Josephy Mwanamvekha, Kondwani Nankhumwa and Bright Msaka.
Following that assessment, I received some good feedback where people made their comments either positively or negatively depending on where they stand politically, which is a good thing.
However, in my analysis I left out two aspirants, namely; Paul Gadama and Prophet David Mbewe and promised to profile them on another day.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let us now go through the candidacies of Paul Gadama and Prophet David Mbewe.
Others might not fancy him as the next big thing in DPP after Mutharika, but to me, with some good strategy and a rich campaign, Gadama, on a good day can pull a surprise at the DPP convention in 2023.
Taking after his youthful advantage, and fact that his name does not appear anywhere near the list of those that are thought to have been part of the country’s mess during the time of APM, and more recently, the DPP infighting; this alone gives him an advantage that stands to turning the tide to his side. Gadama represents new politics, unity and some air of freshness.
Unlike the other candidates that seem to have their base in the Southern region, especially the Lomwe Belt, Gadama may use his Kasungu roots to bring flavor on his presidential ambitions and help DPP win some numbers in the central region.
Since its formation, DPP is mostly grounded in the Southern region, with the Lomwe belt being its stronghold. Over the years, the party has failed to profile itself favorably in the central region, therefore, the coming in of Gadama might to some extent help DPP penetrate the center and shift the political “norm” in the voting pattern.
Gadama has what it takes to attract young voters with his newness appeal, coupled with his sound academic and professional background, he can charm professionals and the corporate world.
In summary, his name is not stained thus far with any form of alleged criminality, unlike those candidates that are answering cases in court that boarder on fraud, abuse of office and corruption among others.
However, Gadama needs to do a lot of marketing on his political profile so as to make himself a news headliner who can match the likes of Nankhumwa, Mwanamvekha and Msaka. Political branding is the center of modern-day politics where Gadama’s name as a brand should become part of the DPP narrative.
On this one, he should also be able to initiate and support activities of great impact to the party and where possible take a leading role. He should work on his association with party structures in all regions as he seems to be more confined to the central region.
PROPHET DAVID MBEWE
Man of God came into the limelight with his Freedom of Worship Association of Malawi -FOWAM where he was seen congregating with people of different faiths including Rastas and the traditional religious cult at the M’boma shrine.
Founder of the Living Word Evangelistic Church who is popularly known for his Shalom Mount Valley in Machinga, shocked many when he announced his intentions to contest at the DPP convention for the position of president.
On the religious front, Mbewe is humble, has charisma, and has initiated some programs that have seen him interact more with ordinary people. He has also managed to bring together people of different faiths through the FOWAM, and recently in Zomba, some faith leaders asked if he could become Malawi’s next president.
To say the truth, Mbewe has a tall order in convincing DPP followers that he can take after his religious feat and translate it to being shrewd politically. He has followers as a church leader but to think these would automatically follow his political path, that will be making a wrong supposition.
We also are yet to see Mbewe interacting more with DPP structures as most of his shows have been church errands. In summary, Mbewe is playing his political game without flavor, unless he picks up his game and realize that he can’t use some religious outings to gain him some political support. He must chose to play politics politically, and religion religiously.