Kondwani Nankhumwa, from Vice President, Leader of Opposition, Presidential Advisor, to a simple bencher

By Burnett Munthali

It is interesting to look at the political graph of Kondwani Nankhumwa as he moves from Leader of Opposition and DPP benches to his new seat and as a backbencher as Parliament meets this February, 2024.

Backbenchers are members of parliament who are not ministers or shadow ministers; in other words, backbenchers are members of parliament who are not ministers or shadow ministers; they sit in the rows of seats behind the frontbench. We can also rightly say that backbenchers are members of parliament who do not have any influential position in the opposition and that’s where Nankhumwa belongs. A backbencher with no recognition in the National Assembly. This automatically is a complete demotion for Nankhumwa but this has been long overdue.

There’s a difference between front and back benchers. The spokespeople for each side, government and opposition, will often sit at the front of their group, and are then known as being on the frontbench (or front bench) and are described as frontbenchers. Those sitting behind them are known as backbenchers.


Political party

Being fired from the DPP has substantially weakened Kondwani Nankhumwa politically and like others before him including Joyce Banda, Saulos Chilima, who left the DPP, Brown Mpinganjira who left the UDF and Gwanda Chakuamba who left the MCP, they never became president after they quit their main parties.

Without political parties, electors would have to individually evaluate every candidate in every election. But political parties enable electors to make judgments about just a few groups, and then apply their judgment of the party to all the candidates affiliated with that group.


As seen in recent days, some have dropped Kondwani Nankhumwa and changed their allegiance. There are four sequential levels of loyalty (respectively; cognitive, affective, conative, and action loyalty).

As it has been predicted before, his holding of the NGC meeting on 6th December was political suicide, what options does he have to survive in politics?

Nankhumwa’s actions became unpopular and controversial, engaging in unethical and illegal behavior, besides he failed to address the needs and concerns of the public.


Everyone has a dream to become someone in life but can Kondwani Nankhumwa become the next President 18 months from now before elections? His Excellency President of the Republic of Malawi and Commander in chief of the armed forces, Dr Kondwani Nankhumwa.

The Constitution of Malawi

*Section 6.* Notwithstanding any provision of this Constitution to the contrary, a person shall only be qualified for nomination for election as President or First Vice-President or for appointment as First Vice-President or Second Vice-President if that person-

a) is a citizen of Malawi by birth or descent; and
b) has attained the age of thirty-five years.

I think Kondwani Nankhumwa is qualified and entitled to exercise his constitutional right to contest in the coming election. We cannot stop his dream.

*Section 7.* No person shall be eligible for nomination as a candidate for election as President or First Vice-President or for appointment as first Vice-President or Second Vice-President if that person-

a) has been adjudged or declared to be of unsound mind;
b) is an undischarged bankrupt having been declared bankrupt under a law of the Republic;
c) has, within the last seven years, been convicted by a competent court of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude;

38 of 1998

d) owes allegiance to a foreign country;

e) is the holder of a public office or a member of Parliament, unless that person first resigns;

f) is a serving Member of the Defence Forces or Malawi Police Force; or

g) has, within the last seven years, been convicted by a competent court of any violation of any law relating to election of the President or election of the members of Parliament.


The next general election is scheduled for September 2025 and some political parties have already started criss crossing the country with their next campaign agenda. In the fire curbing p front is the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) which camped in the Southern Malawi Fire almost a month with yet another list of promises.

Election to the presidency

The president is elected by a majority vote (50% + 1) of the electorate through direct, universal and equal suffrage. All Malawian citizens that have attained the age of 18 are eligible to vote in all elections. Perhaps Nankhumwa is complacent of getting a 50+1% majority to win but my opinion is that he is indeed just dreaming as he cannot amass such votes. The so called young leaders have failed miserably to lead Malawi today.


As the former Vice President for the Southern Region and Leader of the Opposition (LoP), it is a total political downfall, probably the end of his political career. For beginners, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in a wave of action recently, not only dismissed him ( Nankhumwa ) but also expelled several other officials associated with him, including the former Secretary General and Central Region Vice President Grezelder Jeffrey, former Publicity Secretary Nicholas Dausi, former Political Director Mark Botoman, and former Presidential Adviser Cecilia Chazama. This hard hitting blow comes after a disciplinary hearing, investigating various alleged misconducts by the officials.

The consequences for Nankhumwa are particularly serious, extending beyond mere expulsion. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) now gears its focus on stripping him of the position of Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. This position carries significant prestige, along with both financial and political advantages. As per parliamentary protocol, the dismissal of these officials, who also serve as Members of Parliament (MPs), necessitates the party to approach the Speaker of Parliament for the reassignment of these affected MPs to new seats in the House.

Former Leader of Opposition and former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa committed political suicide, by exposing himself and his right hand men within the party, and splitting from the DPP after a number of National Governing Council members failed to turn up for his meeting. That was a risk taken too far to be tolerated.

Political pundits urged estranged Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) senior members, Kondwani Nankhumwa and former secretary general Grelzelder Jeffrey, among others, to stick with the party, despite going through what they termed as rough time but the centre cannot hold and things fall apart. Things are still falling apart as the twist takes another angle to bring down Nankhumwa in his canvas in the House of Assembly.

Nankhumwa, among others, have been removed from their positions in the DPP by their leader Peter Mutharika, they are no longer members after determinations of the disciplinary committee which decided their fate for allegedly being part of the December 6 2023 national governing council (NGC) meeting.

It is now all about falling down to the ground with a complete thud after failing to take over the DPP leadership as the next force is waiting to be exerted and felt in Parliament.

Nankhumwa recently addressed people in Ndirande Malabada  where he assured them that he would be addressing the nation that week where he would make his own stand known on his political future.

“The country will be shaken once I address it this week. My dismissal from the DPP stemmed from my audacity to vie for the party presidency against its established hierarchy and eventually as President in 2025. However, I would like to assure you that the dream for me to contest for the Malawi Presidency in 2025 has not died. Come what may, I will be on the ballot in 2025,” said Nankhumwa.

Will it be the country which will be shaken once Nankhumwa makes his address it will be the former leader who will be shaken even further this week as Parliament convenes?

I’m off the bus that it will be interesting to see how the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will oppose in Parliament under the new leadership of Dr George Chaponda while former Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa is advised of displaying unsatisfactory performance.

A motion to have Nankhumwa removed was tabled by Blantyre City Central member of Parliament (MP) Chipiliro Mpinganjira during the party’s closed-door caucus called by Mutharika at his Page House in Mangochi. The motion was seconded by Thyolo Thava legislator Mary Navicha. Another hard slap in the face is waiting for Nankhumwa !

©Malawi News Online