Chalo’s Sagacity by Chalo Mvula
He is probably the most popular man in Malawi. As a leader of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Timothy Mtambo took the battle against human rights malpractices to the levels where, not only did he inspire a lot of Malawians but also, had politicians in the ruling government spending sleepless nights. His announcement today that he is abandoning civil society platform to become actively involved in politics took many by surprise.
I listened to Mtambo Press briefing today. As everybody else I was eager to hear what he wanted to tell the nation. We are now used that press conferences like that are to announce a new wave of demonstrations against government. However, what was different today was that Mtambo was alone, not with his usual lieutenants in Gift Trapence or Rev Sembereka. As rumours were already rife that he was to announce his quitting of HRDC, what we didn’t expect was an announcement that he will now engage if full time politics. Yes, the vibrant, fearless, bold and well-articulated Mtambo is now a politician after announcing the formation of a people power movement called Citizens for Transformation (CT)
In his statement Mtambo announced that he is endorsing the grand alliance of UTM and MCP and their coalition partners. He was adamant that his mission is to help opposition dislodge the ruling DPP from power. I could sense the wave of freedom covering Mtambo, yes, he was no longer bound by the need for neutrality that civil society leaders need to abound to. He spoke highly of the leadership in opposition of Dr Lazarus Chakwera, Dr Saulos Chilima , Dr Joyce Banda and Enock Chihana citing that these are the leaders that will take Malawi forward from the current state the country is in.
It didn’t take long, as I was scrolling my social media to see the propaganda machine of the government at work. Posts from the so called “cadets” attacking Mtambo. they played down his announcement as something that has been obvious. They challenged him that real politics is difficult than civil society work and many of these so-called Facebook experts described Mtambo decision as ill timed, ill advised and will all end in failure
One thing they have overlooked though, is that Mtambo is a well thought man. He is a man who is passionate for his cause. Whatever he puts his mind on, he goes for it without fear. To assume that Mtambo will be a failure in politics is the biggest mistake the ruling DPP will ever make. Here is a man who knows how to connect with people. Here is a man who knows how to inspire the youths and above all here is man able to pinpoint the real issues that affect Malawi. A biggest critic of nepotism and corruption, his presence on the political arena will be a thorn in the government flesh.
I personally feel Mtambo, is the final piece that the opposition in Malawi needed. The signing of the grand alliance a few weeks ago needed someone as a unifying figure. In Mtambo and his new movement, the opposition parties have found a backbone, the extra motivation for them to be united and go together in the election as one strong force.
Therefore, for now I will choose to ignore all the noise coming from the DPP cadets. Mtambo is here to stay and he will remain difficult to handle. DPP strategists have a lot of work on their plate with this one.