Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Bakili Muluzi's headache

It is not often that confusion reins in former Malawi president Bakili Muluzi's house.
Not the kind of confusion that seems to be reigning after one of his self-acclaimed son, Francis, declared that he would contest as Member of Parliament in the 2019 Tripartite [Local Government, Parliamentary and Presidential] Elections.
Now, there is nothing wrong when an individual declares that he or she wants to vie for public office. Indeed, as a self-confessed "democrat", the former president pretty well knows this.
The problem, though, is that Francis, who is often seen standing behind Muluzi's other son, Atupele, has declared that he wants to contest on the ticket of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Which is surprising because, to begin with, the former president, like those who ventured into politics during the one party regime, started his political journey in the MCP. But, in a twist of events, Muluzi joined those who were agitating for multiparty politics in 1993, stirring the political waters when the United Democratic Front (UDF) was an underground movement.
In so doing, Muluzi started spewing venom at the MCP, discrediting it and its leadership in public. At every available opportunity, he could scandalise its leadership.
Of course, Muluzi formed a 'strange' political relationship with the MCP in 2009, when the courts made it clear that he could not contest as president in the general elections of that year, having served two five-year terms between 1994 and 2004.
Caught between a limitless sea and hard rock, Muluzi dined with MCP presidential candidate John Tembo by telling the electorate to vote for the MCP.
Of course, Tembo, speaking on Zodiak Broadcasting Station a week ago, denied ever being in a political alliance with the UDF or Muluzi in 2009.
But, if Muluzi's public pronouncements on the MCP are anything to go by, it does not make sense for his son Francis to contest on an MCP ticket in next year's elections.
Francis wants to contest in Blantyre-Kabula Constituency.
Secondly, it does not make sense for Francis to contest on an MCP ticket when Atupele, his other brother, is the leader of the former ruling UDF. 
It is like there is confusion in the family and the centre cannot hold.
But, then, this is democracy. People have a right to contest in public positions on whichever ticket tickles their fancy.
Just that, in the case of Francis, his choice is Muluzi's headache.

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