The reason Peter Mutharika is the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and must have stumbled at the State Presidency is simply because he is a Mutharika not Peter’s Mutharika as his own man but Bingu’s. The fallen DPP founder is a revered name within the ranks and files of the party and if the DPP has any chance of survival beyond now Bingu will be lifeline, and not Peter.
Beside that the other reason he still seems to retain some sympathizers is that he has money to splash around to buy support.
Talking about the money we are referring billions of monies he stole during his stint in power as this country’s head of state. As lucky has it, he may also have access to the money his brother stashed in some of the offshore accounts. Without all these, the former President is a leader without influence.
In my little time I have followed the world and domestic politics, this is the only time to see someone occupying a position but without the powers to call the shots. If anything, what is the essence of holding a position of leadership if not for influence. This week’s events have everything for one to understand that Mutharika is just the figure head and he can be disobeyed willy-nilly.
If the disappointment seeing his directive to have George Chaponda as the Leader of opposition at the expense of Kondwani Nankhumwa was not enough, this week Kondwani Nankhumwa tightened the grip of parliamentary proceeding by appointing yet again his loyalist a legislature for Zomba Chisi position of Public Accounts Committee Chairperson which was previously held by Shadreck Namalomba of madala team (Mutharika side). Although Namalonba’s appointment followed the expiry of Namalomba’s tenure could have easily retained his position if he was in good books with the “appointing authority” Nankhumwa.
Truly, Mutharika is just a figure-head. His leadership has been so underwhelming as he does not exude confidence for the people of differing opinions in the party to rally around him. And this far Kondwani Nankhumwa has proven to be too difficult to handle by Mutharika as he continues to defy any of Mutharika’s directives and appointments. With Nankhumwa controlling parliament, Mutharika’s power is limited to a faction of his inner circle who are licking his boots hoping to gain favour from him for the 2025 endorsement of in case he (Mutharika) throws a towel to have a go for the Presidency again as it is reported.
But I am curious and I am particularly interested to know how Bingu Wa Mutharika managed to deal with Joyce Banda and Khumbo Kachali during his time as the President of DPP when it was alleged that the two were creating parallel structures to give them a leverage in the 2013 convention showdown with Peter Mutharika. How did he manage to expel the two that a feat Peter is failing? Of-course some people would say that Nankhumwa is surviving on court injunctions, again one would be prompted to think of Peter was Bingu, Kondwani Nankhumwa’s politics could have been finished by now because Bingu could not have tolerated Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa’s faction resembles what Gustav Kaliwo, Jessy Kabwira and Felix Jumbe tried at some point in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The three grew big such that they begun undermining the leadership of Lazarus Chakwera but Chakwera proved to be too strong for them to manipulate. As we speak the three are out of politics and Chakwera is the leader of MCP and the country’s Head of State. If Chakwera was a weak leader just like Mutharika these people could have weakened the party and MCP could still have been in the opposition today.
If Mutharika was clever enough he could have bowed from active politics to save his face before he suffers more embarrassments in the hands of Nankhumwa.