Despite the combined efforts from DPP President Arthur Peter Mutharika and his troops, Leader of Opposition in Parliament who is also DPP Vice President for the South, Dr. Kondwani Nankhumwa continues to waltz and blast through the political space with rising gusto and determination.
Addressing a DPP political mass rally at Nyambadwe Primary School Ground in Malabada constituency in Ndirande, Blantyre on Sunday, July 31, 2022, Nankhumwa challenged all his detractors that come the national convention year, 2023, he will the next President of the DPP and eventually state President in 2025.
What is dangerous for the ‘Madala’ team is that Nankhumwa appears to have the solid backing of the rank and file DPP members and a majority of Malawians behind him.
Nankhumwa’s magnet was on display on Sunday when he literally brought Ndirande on a standstill when he addressed thousands upon thousands of people at Malawi’s political Mecca.
The youthful politician started off talking about his personal connection to the ‘hood’ of Ndirande.
“Addressing a rally here is like returning home,” he informed the ecstatic audience.
He bemoaned the government’s people bad economic policies, saying Malawians are suffering under the leadership of President Lazarus Chakwera and the Tonse Alliance government, and that the people made a mistake in 2020 to kick out DPP and former President, Peter Mutharika thinking that the new government would be a better alternative.
“The past two years of the Tonse Alliance government have been an ordeal for the people of Ndirande and the whole country due to mainly the continuous rise in the prices of basic commodities and a breakdown in public service delivery.
He said that the Agriculture Inputs Programme (AIP) in its current form is not benefiting Malawians in relation to its cost to the taxpayer. As we are talking now, the price of fertilizer is at 75 thousand Kwacha, and a 50 kg bag of maize is at 18 thousand Kwacha.
“The economy has tanked due to the poor economic policies of the Tonse Alliance administration, which does not listen to the voice of reason and suggestions from the opposition. But I want to assure you that as opposition in Parliament, we shall continue advising the government and provide the necessary checks and balances to the government,” he said.
Nankhumwa bemoaned the issue of poor electricity supply, which impacts negatively on the people’s various businesses that rely on electricity. Most people in Ndirande, he noted, are artisans—motor vehicle mechanics, barbers, hairdressers and carpenters, among others—who can hardly survive without reliable power supply.
Nankhumwa said it is apparently clear that the Tonse Alliance government is finding it difficult to govern in the context of democracy and the rule of law where rights of citizens are respected. It is clear that the MCP government is stifling human freedom and wants to instill fear in the people, he said.
“Today, people are being arrested for demonstrating against the ills of this government. This government must not forget that it came to power because of the same demonstrations they are stopping today. I will not sit back and just watch as people’s freedoms; the freedoms that Malawians gallantly fought for in the 1990s are being curtailed by President Chakwera and his government; I will not watch and will fight to the end,” said the opposition leader.
DPP AS ONE FAMILY
He encouraged DPP rank and file members to love one another as children of one family, discouraging backbiting and petty jealousy.
“We must remain united to ensure that the party returns to power in 2025. Political insults for political gain is primitive politics,” said the opposition leader.
Nankhumwa also encouraged DPP members to respect each other and exercise high level of discipline and political tolerance because that is the only way the party would return to power in 2025.
He also acknowledged the role media plays in the social, economic and political development of any nation and that in the political context, the media is a vital tool for creating awareness about everything.
He called upon the government of President Chakwera to respect and uphold media freedom. He expressed concern that many media houses are being closed down by the government on the basis of non-payment of operating fees, saying there should be a better way of resolving these issues.