The familiar tale of DPP’s opposition to Chakwera’s appointments

Aug 9, 2022

There is a predictability on which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reacts to President Chakwera’s appointments. There has never been any appointment which they have not faulted. If they do not bring the tribal card, then it’s the nepotism card or they will fault the appointee for the lacking experience.

The irony though is that whenever President Chakwera takes time to fill a particular position, they are also the first to criticize him for being indecisive. No decision by President Chakwera is good enough in the eyes of the DPP, especially the madala team.

It all started with the appointment of Martha Chizuma as the Director General of the Anti-Corruption (ACB). Chizuma’s appointment had the popular approval from Malawians except those “of DPP origin” who became uncomfortable and apprehensive, for obvious reasons off course, that they could not become to equity because their hands were not clean and they feared the worst should the fearless lioness (Chizuma) come after them.

Even when it became clear that Malawians were rooting for her name and at that time there was no other name that was highly thought of to be more deserving for the position of the ACB Director General than hers, the DPP led Public Appointment Committee of Parliament went ahead to reject her appointment. It took the threats of demonstrations from the citizenry for Chizuma to be confirmed.

Then came the appointment of Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda. Again, the DPP voiced out their opposition saying he was inexperienced for the position.

Of course, at the time of his appointment Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda was not a household name in the legal profession compared with other Attorney Generals before him. His appointment could be likened to the Biblical story of David. At the time he was chosen to be the king he was seen as undederseving in the eyes of people due to his age as he was the youngest amongst his brothers but God found him more deserving and more qualified to be the King.
The DPP thought President Chakwera would fish out someone reputable to replace Chikosa Silungwe as the Attorney General but President Chakwera had other ideas. President Chakwera is a good student of history and he knew better that some lawyers of repute who have been appointed to that position have let this country down. Some of them became the enablers of impunity in the past regimes. Kalekeni Kaphale is one of the finest lawyers this country has ever had but is it not him who defended the DPP’s manipulation of the 2019 elections? Instead of being on the right side of history he sided with the oppressors. Charles Mhango is one of the greats in the legal field but again wasn’t he part of Kaphale who chose the wrong side of history by defending the electoral fraud?
If the truth be told, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda’s appointment has proven to be the wisest appointment ever made by a President.

Nyirenda has been by far the most effective Attorney General in Malawi history, winning one case after another, importantly rectifying the anomalies made by the previous regimes, saving and recovering government moneies and properties in the process.
Now they are on the neck of President Chakwera for appointing Brigadier General Charles Kalumo as Director General of Immigration and Citizen Services and Andrew Mpesi as the Malawi Electoral Commission Chief Elections officer.
The DPP is faulting President Chakwera for appointing Kalumo saying at 70 he is old he can’t efficiently discharge his duties and he should not have recalled him from retirement. For a context, recalling someone from retirement to serve his country is not a new phenomenon and it does not only happen in this country alone.
Every time the President is not satisfied with the people from the pool from which he is supposed to choose from he becomes duty bound to outsource somewhere someone who is fit for the purpose. During his time as the state President, Bakili Muluzi recalled many people from retirement, notable appointments include those of Sam Kakhobwe and Lucious Chikuni as Director of MASAF and Commissioner of Disaster respectively. Kakhobwe once served as the Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) under Kamuzu Banda and Lucious Chikuni served as the Director General of Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC) under Kamuzu Banda as well.
All in all, DPP’S attitude towards President Chakwera’s appointments demonstrates the highest level of hypocrisy. While they find the appointment of Kalumo problematic they do not see any problem to have an 81 year-old Mutharika as their leader. Even worse is the fact that they are rooting for a man who will be 85 in 2025 to be their torch bearer. Even more surprising is the fact that they seem so forgetful that people like Goodall Gondwe, George Chaponda and Francis Mphepo joined politics after they had retired from their respective jobs.

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