Speaking to his fellow Muslims on this year’s Eid al-Fitr, the arguably Lower Shire Political giant Sidik Mia, assured his fellow Muslim faithful that gathered at his Chikwawa Nkombezi base, that he will continue to walk with them. For starters, Mia is one of the wealthy business men in the country and as a practicing Muslim, he believes in sharing with the poor—both Muslims and non-Muslims— the blessings that God bestows on him. Stories are told of how Mia orders slaughter of tens and tens of goats and cattle and share the meat to his fellow Muslims to celebrate together on such an important day in the Muslim Calendar. His Mia foundation—a charity organization— is also another success story to the less privileged across the country.
It was against such a setting that the new Mbuya made such a remark. No one therefore can fault him for re-affirming his support to his fellow Muslim brothers and sisters whom he prays with every Friday’s.
However, it must be understood that Mia is a politician—a senior politician for that matter. He has been a Member of Parliament for his Nkombezi constituency in Chikwawa for over a decade and during this period, God also blessed him by giving him the opportunity to serve in different Ministerial Portfolios—the recent one being that of a Minister Road and Public Transport.
As a politician who took a political ‘sabbatical leave’, Mia, during this casual address celebratingEid al-Fitr, humbly informed his fellow faithful that he had decided to return to front-line politics and as they have always done to him, he humbly requested for their usual support, to which the people assured him of their usual unwavering support.
Mia went further to disclose that this time around, he would be chasing for a bigger position—not a Member of Parliament Position or a Ministerial Position—arguing he thinks he can better serve the people if he gets a position where he can be involved in making crucial decisions for the country.
At this point, it is important to make it clear that Mia neither disclosed the political party he would join nor the higher position he is looking for.
In fact as I write this, Mia is currently not a member of any political party though there are media reports connecting him to the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
To give credence to those media reports, the leader of Malawi Congress Party, has on several occasions disclosed to the media—of course upon been pressed—that he was engaging in the rebuilding of the party and that he was coaxing a number of influential individuals to join the party of which the name of Hon Mia was featuring prominently on the list of those he want to poach to his party.
Enter Jessie Kabwira
Jessie Kabwira is a political motor-mouth whom sane people, including MCP President Dr Lazarus Chakwera himself, stopped taking her serious. For starters, Kabwira was handpicked by Chakwera to be the Party’s spokesperson and after it was discovered that she was launching an underground campaign to unseat him by involving herself in various sabotage activities and insubordination behavior instead of speaking for the party, she was fired by the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
As we speak, Kabwira is just an ordinary member of MCP and frustrated as expected, the so called iron lady decided to team up with Team Nkholokolo led by Secretary General Gustav Kaliwo to call for an illegal convention with the aim of installing her as the Party’s President.
Few days ago, Kabwira granted an interview on state funded and controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and on few credible online publications where she blasted her Party President Dr Chakwera over the olive branch he extended to people like her. To her, Chakwera is not sincere with the olive branch.
According to Kabwira, she wants Chakwera to vacate the injunction against convention so that the Nkholokolo team can go ahead with the convention to make her party President.
In her fantasy dreams with Kaliwo, she sees herself being Malawi’s first citizen in 2019. Amangwetu, what a joke!
But this is not the issue. The issue is that Kabwira, during this MBC interview, also went to town to attack Hon Sidik Mia accusing him of imposing himself to be the Party’s running mate in 2019. She was responding to those comments Mia made to his fellow Muslims colleagues during the Eid al-Fitr day. Typical of political motormouths, Kabwira said a lot of nasty and illogical stuff about Mia—saying MCP is not for sale and that they are not interested in Mia’s wealth.
Analysis 1: Kabwira a Liability
As we have noted from the above background, Kabwira was given the opportunity to be part of the gurus calling the shots in MCP but she was desperately found lacking by the party’s NEC. Instead, she resorted to sowing seeds of division in the party. She has been disrespecting her own party leader Dr Chakwera and she has been making moves to topple him.
Lo and behold! To talk ill of people like Mia is tantamount to telling MCP supporters that we want Chakwera to lose again in 2019 so that we should lead the party going forward. Such a person as Kabwira with such a thinking falls short of being called a Party Asset. Such a person qualifies to be called a liability and this is what Kabwira is—a liability in the party!
Amangwetu, who in his right frame of mind, can say that Mia can’t add any value in any political party in our country?
This is why Kabwira should continue not to be taken seriously. She is a tried and tested politician and so far, she has proved to be a ‘Grade A’ failure, and academically speaking, Jessie deserves a complete chop (read weed) and not to be given an opportunity to write a supplementary exam, as how the caring leadership in Chakwera suggests by extending to her such a rare olive branch.
Fact is that MCP needs a political footprint in the Southern region and how can one obstruct the entry of a seasoned politician like Mia who undeniably can increase the support base of the party in a region the party has almost zero support? MCP is non-existent in the southern region and this is a fact.
Does it mean that people like Kabwira still want this party to continue to be perceived as a central region party? Has this tag of the party being a central region secured its ticket back to government where it belonged for three decades before the advent of multiparty democracy in the country?
So instead of Kabwira working closely with the visionary leader in Dr. Chakwera to rebuild the party and ensure unity as we approach 2019 –there she is—tearing the party left, right and centre. You call that person an asset? Hell No!
Kabwira is a liability and MCP’s NEC must be congratulated by dropping her in the party’s first eleven. She does not even deserve to be dumped on the bench, she needs to be a civilian and return to Chanco. She has no discipline and love for the party!
I repeat, sane Malawians stopped taking her serious because they know that she is a liability. MCP’s NEC decision to give her a vote of no confidence as the party’s spokesperson just confirms what I am arguing that Kabwira is a liability whose verbal diarrhea must be ignored. She overestimates herself!
Analysis 2: Mia an asset
Even if Mia joins any party, be it NASAF of the late James Nyondo or AFORD of Chihana or form his own party like how disgruntled Khumbo Kachali has done—his impact can be seen in both the number of votes he can help bring on presidential race and he can also help such parties to win a few Parliamentary seats in different constituencies across the country.
So if you hear people like Kabwira dismissing Mia as a politician who cannot add any value to the party— you just know that such people are misguided politicians. They are liars and that truth is not in them.
So if Mia decides to join the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) today—all the party must do is to rejoice than to speak ill of him. Mia is no ordinary politician.
Kabwira must understand that politics and money are inseparable. DPP, which MCP wants to dislodge, has its campaign machinery well greased with money—both clean as well as dirty ‘cash-gate’ money. If the party was able to dislodge the then ruling People’s party (PP) which was in power as recent as 2014—can you easily dislodge them now that they are themselves in power?
Frankly speaking, MCP can’t match DPP’s campaign resources—both financial as well as human resource— and it is even a big gamble to trust people like Simbi who voluntarily admitted that he finances both MCP and DPP. How can you sponsor two parties competing in the same election? Its either Simbi is misguided or has greed of gargantuan proportions.
Coming back to the issue under microscope, Mia’s financial muscle must be respected and not to be ridiculed. For instance, what can people like Richard Msowoya whom Kabwira seemed to sympathize during her MBC interview bring to the MCP’s campaign table? Speakership money which he can’t even share any penny to even his constituency leaders in his Nyungwe constituency? The guy is chewing the money alone and his family. Can he bring any new winning ideology? What Ideology?
By the way, what is an ideology in the face of Malawian voters? An ideology does not matter to Malawians. They decide a future of a country using a thumb and not the brain.
Therefore, issues like having sound financial resources cannot be ignored in Malawian politics. Chithumba ku Ndale Nchofunika amwene and it appears Chakwera understands this concept.
Apart from Mia having a fat pocket which is essential in politics, the guy is undeniably ENERGETIC. He can wow the audience. He can sway the crowds. He can move the crowds. He can influence the crowds! Above all, he is likable not like Kabwira or any other person(s) she wants to compare Mia with. In short, Mia is one of the ideal campaign weapons MCP must gather in readiness for Chakwera’s must win 2019 battle.
Lastly, we all know that Mia is a devoted Muslim and Chakwera a Christian—a Pastor for that matter. If Chakwera can partner Mia in 2019—this, I think, would be a perfect match in as far as uniting the nation is concerned. Chakwera can easily appeal to the Christian community while Mia can easily appeal to the Muslim community, fair and square!
People like Kabwira should stop talking ill of Mia. The fact that Chakwera is coaxing Mia to join MCP does not mean that Mia has joined the party. He may decide otherwise.
We are in competitive politics and if Mia decides to join MCP—then you folks who are feeling the Mia heat should just brace yourself for competitive politics. Show him that you are better politicians than him because it appears he is fired up to get what he wants.
However, after all the politicking is done, it will be the prerogative of the MCP President to pick a running mate in 2019. It’s a prerogative. If it will please whosoever will be MCP President to pick Mia as the party’s running mate in 2019, then lucky him! If it will be you Miss Jessie Kabwira being picked as running mate, lucky you and even if it will be myself—the author of this article being picked on board, wow, lucky me as well!
So stop mudslinging others, Jessie. Stop being all over the place!
I rest my case.
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in this article are those of the Author John Dereck Kathumba and not of this publication. For any feedback, please feel comfortable to write to this email address: [email protected].