Bird’s Eye View: DPP internal squabbles turn violent

The recent events surrounding the Arthur Peter Mutharika My Vote parade organised by a faction of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the ensuing violence in Lilongwe demand the strongest condemnation.

However, it would be highly unfortunate if some disgruntled individuals sought to entangle the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in the internal conflicts of the DPP. Recent developments within the party indicate a struggle for control between two factions.

The organisation of such a parade aimed at rallying support for a former president’s return to the State House raises concerns regarding democratic principles and the peaceful transfer of power, which the opposing faction has contested and not accepted.

While political mobilisation is fundamental to democracy, it must adhere to the rule of law and respect for differing opinions. The faction allegedly dismissed is discontented with the endorsement of Mutharika.

Holding a parade in favour of a specific candidate, particularly one who previously held office and asserts ownership of the party, risks influencing public opinion in a manner that undermines the fairness of the presidential candidate selection process.
Moreover, the existence of factionalism within the DPP, exemplified by the opposition led by Kondwani Nankhumwa, highlights underlying issues within the party.

Internal divisions can weaken political parties, disrupt governance, and diminish public trust in the political system. It is crucial for political leaders to prioritise unity and constructive dialogue over internal power struggles, especially in the lead-up to elections.
The violence during the parade in Lilongwe is deeply concerning and must be unequivocally condemned. Political disagreements should never justify resorting to violence or intimidation.

There is a temptation to believe that the disturbance on Saturday was internally orchestrated, knowing that blame could easily be shifted to the MCP due to its occurrence in Lilongwe.
It is the responsibility of political leaders, law enforcement agencies, and civil society organizations to collaborate in ensuring that perpetrators of violence are held accountable and steps are taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.

In conclusion, the events surrounding the Arthur Peter Mutharika My Vote parade and the violence in Lilongwe underscore the challenges confronting Malawi’s democratic system.
It is increasingly evident that the DPP falls short of its claims to be democratic and progressive. It is imperative for political leaders and citizens alike to reject violence and embrace peaceful means of political engagement.

It is disheartening that the DPP, known for instigating terror during its tenure in government, continues to resort to violence even in opposition.
Only through unity, dialogue, and a commitment to democratic principles can Malawi realize its full potential as a stable and prosperous nation. Opposition parties, as integral components of the governing system, must adhere to democratic principles.

Mutharika’s DPP has proven ineffective both as a governing party and as an opposition force. It is no surprise they are embroiled in an internal fight for the position of Leader of the Opposition amongst themselves.