Sunday’s UTM rally was drama filled and things did not pan out the way planned. From the onset the disgruntled sounding speakers thought they were speaking one language until the party’s Vice President Michael Usi broke the accord by speaking something any patriot ought to have done.
As the highest ranking official at the rally, Usi was accorded the respect to speak last. Cutting the figure of someone who was listening attentively to the earlier speakers that included UTM Secretary General Patricia Kaliati and Chairperson of Campaign Felix Njawala, Usi stunned or probably irked his colleagues at the podium when he took swipe at his party for acting indifferent to some of the challenges being faced in this country.
Usi was not amused that his party has been busy criticizing President Chakwera when they are part and parcel of government. As John the baptist would have done, Usi tore into his party’s hypocrisy and spoke the unsettling truth which visibly made some party gurus at the podium uncomfortable.
Usi said it is hypocritical of them to blame others especially MCP when they (UTM) are part of the administration. Usi said its high time that his party start behaving as part of government and own up to some of the problems and be part of the solutions
He said: “Whatever you said that you should convey our concerns to government, I took it that you were referring to us because Mrs Kaliyati, and Dr Saulos Chilima are part of government, so who else apart from us should address your concerns.”
What Usi has done is a departure from what are used to, hearing from members of UTM claiming credit when things are going well and blaming the MCP when government is facing rough patches.
It is was not surprising therefore that his remarks did not go well within ranks of his party as some people especially the media team are agitating for an early convention so that they get rid of him.
This is what has become of UTM, they have been critical of President Chakwera instead of supporting him. DPP is an obvious antagonist to the current government but UTM is an enemy within.
As Usi has rightly said, in the current government set up there are a number of influential positions occupied by people affiliated to the DPP. Apart from the Vice President there is Usi himself, Mrs Kaliati as the Minister of Gender and Agness Nyalonje who is the Minister of Education.
Usi may face animosity in the party going forward but whatever happens from now, one thing is clear that he is a capable leader demonstrating servant leadership and he is in the footsteps of President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera.