By Chisomo Kalumula
Over the past weekend, Malawian social media was abuzz with the news of defections by some senior members of the opposition party, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), into different affiliated parties of the Tonse alliance. Two key defections caught the attention of everyone; that of Julius Paipi and Lonzo Zimba.
While different political analysts weigh in and state that these two are some of the members of the popular choir “working with the government of the day”, many cannot help but wonder whether they will bring any meaningful change to the alliance and serve their people.
Speculators have questioned where these people were the entire time the Tonse alliance was busy campaigning on the road, whether this trend of defecting to the ruling side after an election will ever come to an end, and who else might change goals soon.
While many other Malawians observe this trend, the famous prophetic Ndirande rally speech by Dr Saulos Chilima to former President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika comes to mind. Dr Chilima’s powerful metaphor that one cannot simply rely on a snake is relevant advice worthy of sharing with Dr Chakwera as we move forward as a nation, sticking to our guns and playing the roles of watchdog and whistleblower along the way.
As much as there is great respect for every person’s freedom of association, everyone has role to play in the development of Malawi. It is extremely important that we be firm in our roots and not easily blown away by the wind. A new Malawi can only be possible if we play our roles in our respective positions. Now more than ever we need a very strong opposition, civil society, faith community, and journalism fraternity to keep the new government on its toes.
We need every single person to make their contribution to national development by providing the necessary checks and balances to the government. Our children and their children’s future is dependent on the role we choose to play for Malawi today.
Accountability and objectivity is the new challenge moving forward.