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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finding Agenda for 2014 elections: Time for our MPs, Parties to reflect

Malawian political parties have been accused of having no distinguishing identity and philosophy. Actually frankly speaking they are merely, for many opportunistic clubs for earning a living for those that have no occupation, retired or immediately thought would get rich quick.
They have been very few politicians, whose first and lost job has been politics. Among them the Late Aleke Banda, Gwanda Chakuamba, Brown James Mpinganjira, Late Edward Bwanali, Dr. Bakili Muluzi, Dr. Joyce Banda, Khumbo Kachali, Edda Chitalo, Beston Majoni, John Tembo, Portipher Chidaya, Mai Dinala, Mayi Hilda Manjankhosi just to remember a few.
The rest of politicians are self created people, who think politics as an opportunity to get really rich quickly. Others like Professor Peter Mutharika, after a stint in the 1960s left for a professional career before fate had it sending them an opportunity to do politics. Atupele Muluzi was born in a political family and adapted to his environment.
I am giving all this background to argue our Leaders, both in Government and Opposition to clearly define what they stand for before the electorate, which is one of the most and well informed of this generation before they regret in investing in the elections.
President Joyce Banda has the biggest advantage of the incumbency, jiggling government and her Peoples Party agenda in the same breadth, while Professor Peter Mutharika might enjoy the record of his brother, he still has equally to deal with dates like July 20, Robert Chasowa and the shortages, telling Malawians how different would he be and convincing them that Mulhako wa Lhomwe will not be beyond cultural set up. For Atupele Muluzi his agenda needs to go beyond youth taking over, but explain how different will his Government be when his deputy Iqbal Omar and others still represent the old thinking of the UDF.
Its that time, this month of June which will translate into 10 months of campaign when serious questions, propaganda and real debate will be taking place.
If I was a Parliamentarian, I would quickly pass the budget and go home and convince people I rarely visited in the last 5 years, yes we are in the fifth year now, that I am still the best option.
If I am a new comer into politics, I would make serious commitment by starting to build a house in my constituency as they have become so clever not to vote for people coming from 'outside" as they have nothing to tie them up when they win elections.
I hope with 10 months to do, each political party, leader or aspiring candidates will clearly articulate their agenda and tell us what they really represent.
At the Centre for Public Accountability we are advocating for a a social contract, where MPs can write and sign their promises and Village Headmen, Development Committees and T/As can keep the record. After five years we can meet again and check how much ground has been covered.
Then we can decide easily whether to accept their lies or let them go and rest.
This could be an exciting as so far nobody seem set with agenda for 2014!


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