Major political parties in the country are now busy repositioning themselves ahead of the 2019 general election.
We saw recently how President Peter Mutharika “triumphantly” entered Blantyre in “Jesus” style minus palm branches, except the usual blue colours that littered the commercial city.
But was it really a “triumphant” entry into the unholy city by Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as put by party propaganda machinery?
Well, probably that is a new topic for another new day.
It is not therefore surprising that Mutharika is leading the onslaught against his critics and those standing on the way of DPP.
The same applies to the main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Party president Lazarus Chakwera is leaving no stone unturned to ensure he gets to
Kamuzu Palace come 2019.
Sidik Miah as clear instructions to turn the Shire Valley into an MCP stronghold so that votes combined from Central Region can make a comfortable lead for Chakwera and his MCP during the elections.
We have seen how MCP legislator Peter Chakhwantha wants electoral reforms laws tabled in Parliament so that the ruling party does not have a chance to rig the election and there is a level political playing field during the general election.
Chakwera is fighting on all political fronts to make sure this time around, I mean in 2019, the presidency does not slip from his fingers as was the case two and half years ago.
In United Democratic Front (UDF), the same is happening.
Party supporters are already up in arms asking the party leadership to file divorce papers against DPP and ensure that its political bed time with the ruling party is over.
We have seen party leader Atupele Muluzi moving up and down to garner support for the party.
He has, however, chosen to keep the issue of whether UDF will participate in the election alone or with DPP closest to his chest.
I am sure former president Bakili Muluzi is making political engineering and manoeuvring so that the son gets to Kamuzu Palace, not as a son but as a president.
In People’s Party (PP), the same preparations are happening. After the political tsunami following the selfimposed exile of its founder and president Joyce Banda, things seem to be quieter now than ever before in the party.
It looks like acting president Uladi Mussa and other party officials are in a serious mission of rebuilding the tattered party, tattered both in image and political foundation.
Whether PP will get back into government or not is a million dollar question.
Now let me turn to Alliance for Democracy, popularly known by its acronym Aford.
This party should have been much stronger and at a better place than where it is now, a tight freezing corner.
Greedy and selfish people have destroyed the party for greedy and selfish reasons.
For those who might not remember, Aford swept all 33 parliamentary seats in the North at its best in 1994.
As of today, Aford has just one Member of Parliament (MP), its president Enoch
Chihana, who is Rumphi Central MP, licking his political wounds after PP was unceremoniously kicked out of government in 2014.
Chihana was a cabinet minister in the PP government and did not contest the presidency but supported the Banda candidature.
It is high time Aford rose and started running again; who knows, it might finish first in the race.
What needs to be done now is to revamp the sickly looking Aford, starting from its head to the toe.
Aford should take on board real political engineers with vision beyond support and vision from the Northern Region alone.
Let Chihana step aside and allow someone with vision and political muscle to take over the party leadership. He or she can be from Rumphi, Karonga or elsewhere but someone with a huge political base, political following and political muscle to take the Aford headquarters from Bolero in Rumphi to Lilongwe, the capital city.
Chihana and other leaders who are sinking the party should not stick to the party for the simple reason that the party belongs to the late Chakufwa Chihana or to Rumphi or it is a Northern Region-based party, no but they should realise this party helped much in the democratisation process of the country.
Aford helped a lot to dismantle the shackles of one party state and brought us the democracy we are enjoying today.
Chakufwa and other Aford members risked their lives to fight the one-party system of government in this country.
This is why I say without any contradiction that Aford has a better place in the history of
Malawi than where it is today.
The party leadership can do better if it resurrects the party, if they take the party out of the graveyard where it is lying dead along with its father and founder Chakufwa.
The party just needs right leaders at this right time. The party no longer needs leaders with mere political rhetoric.
The Northern Region-based national executive committee should be dismantled and let those with real political talent, power and zeal take over and turn it into a robust party again worth its name.
It is easier to make Aford get its lost glory. It is not difficult to get it from the graveyard in Mzuzu where it is lying side by side with its great founder and maverick leader Chalufwa.
At its peak, when Chakufwa was a force to reckon with in Malawi politics, before his flirting with UDF abruptly and sadly ended the high flying political career of Aford, everyone stood and listened when Chakufwa and the party merely coughed.
Now is the time to start the preparations, for the party to reposition itself ahead of the 2019 general election and to rebuild the party with real politicians not political puppets picked merely because they speak Tumbuka.
The North has great political leaders who can take Aford to new heights.
It is not too late. Neither is it too little to get Aford out of Chakufwa’s grave.