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Governance, political commentators worried with regionalistic sentiments from DPP

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Governance and political experts have expressed disappointment with regionalistic sentiments from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

They have since called for deregistration of the party, fearing it could create divisions among Malawians.

The call follows sentiments by DPP zealots from the Southern Region that southerners are the legitimate owners of the party.

“Anzathu akumpoto anayankhula, Central Region inayankhula, ndiye timati iyayi….eni chipani ndi ndani? Ndife kumwera kuno. Ndiye ife tikunena kuti: Wina afune, kaya wina asafune, APM ayime!” declared one of the party followers in the clip.

But Malawi’s renowned governance and political commentators have spoken strongly against the sentiments, stressing that they have the potential to divide the country along regional lines.

In an interview on Friday, Victor Chipofya Junior said the statements from DPP followers in the Southern Region symbolizes how regionalistic the party is.

“DPP should be deregistered for advancing regionalism. Because if they are saying ‘we, the southerners, are the owners of the party’, it means they don’t value and appreciate the votes from other regions. And this is very sad because DPP cannot win a presidential election with the south only because the rules have now changed. We now have 50+1, and with this kind of regionalism in the party, they can’t attain power,” argued Chipofya Junior.

He added, “Those people that were saying all those things, they don’t say that by themselves. Most of the times, they are sent by senior party officials. And those are ritually just the pawns that are moved to make such statements so that the public can now start looking at it as if senior leaders in the party are not involved. That’s a sad point of view.”

Chipofya wondered how regionalistic the party will be if given another go at the State House.

“If they are being regionalistic even within themselves, what more if they are given the government machinery? How much more regionalistic will they be at the national level in terms of distribution of resources? How can we trust DPP if they are allowing their members to speak like that to say chipani ichi ndi chakumwera? We don’t need that kind of division from DPP and that should come out strongly,” he emphasized.

In his reaction, Dr. George Chaima said the scenario with DPP is common with political parties whose appetite is to cling to power by force and by all means despite the will of the people.

Chaima said this practice is undemocratic, uncivilized, retrogressive and does not align itself with tenets of democracy.

“If you can look at where the party is coming from, you will realize that politics of imposition was created by the late Bingu wa Mutharika, who recruited chiefs and party loyalists to support his succession plan by glooming and elevation of his brother – Peter. Today, tribulations in the party never end. Such kind of politics always end up in chaos and eventually dies a natural death. We have seen political parties, which have lost people’s trust, direction and popularity because of politics of imposition. Today, such parties are not as strong as they were before. Good examples are AFORD and UDF,” he said.

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