Tuesday, April 23, 2024

DPP July Convention in Limbo; Mutharika politicking takes centre stage: Malawi Politics


The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is currently experiencing both excitement and uncertainty regarding its upcoming convention in July. Some party followers are enthusiastic about the possibility of replacing the Mutharika name, referring to former President Peter Mutharika, while others have concerns that the convention may not take place at all.

Several individuals, including Kondwani Nankhumwa, Dalitso Kabambe, Joseph Mwanamveka, Bright Msaka, and Davie Gadama, have expressed interest in replacing Peter Mutharika as the party leader.

Initially, Mutharika had indicated that he would step aside at the end of his mandate in July. However, recent endorsements of his candidature by his associates seem to have influenced his decision to stay in power beyond July.

The main contender to Mutharika’s leadership is Kondwani Nankhumwa, who appears determined to challenge him directly. Mutharika and Nankhumwa have had strained relations since the DPP lost power in the 2020 elections, with Mutharika indirectly expressing his opposition to Nankhumwa’s leadership.

Despite his advanced age, Mutharika is resolute in thwarting Nankhumwa’s presidential aspirations at any cost. However, the DPP faces financial challenges in organizing the convention. The last fundraising event, called “Blue Night,” reportedly failed to raise enough funds even for the first National Governing Council meeting in four years, let alone the convention.

According to a source within the DPP, Mutharika could have personally funded the convention if he was assured of victory, as he did in the last convention. However, he is now hesitant to sponsor an elective conference that could potentially lead to Nankhumwa’s rise to power.

The source suggests that Mutharika hopes some desperate DPP officials will appeal to him for financial assistance, allowing him to win their loyalty and secure victory at the convention.

With only two months remaining until July, there are growing doubts about whether the convention will take place. DPP supporters are uncertain about the party’s future, as Mutharika seems to be intentionally creating a sense of neediness among them, potentially positioning himself as a benefactor and influential figure within the party.

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