Accountability with MCP and UTM agreement


here is uncertainty regarding the future of the agreement which MCP signed with UTM Party in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. MCP and UTM are speaking a different language in as far as details of the agreement are concerned. Effectively, the agreement has been reduced to a pact between the presidents of the two parties Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima.

From the beginning, it became clear that MCP was going to play hardball and engage in political deceit especially on the widely speculated clause about Chakwera paving way for Chilima to be the torch bearer for the alliance in the 2025 elections. Talking matter-of-factly, there is no way MCP gurus would hand over the mantle to Chilima especially after tasting power. MCP had overstayed in the opposition benches since 1994 and there is no way they will give up power so easily to anyone.

Moreover, pundits have argued that the MCP and UTM agreement, which has been reduced to a Chakwera and Chilima agreement, is not legally binding. However, it is still debatable whether the agreement cannot be enforced by the courts of law. Nonetheless, what is clear is that the two parties have cheated each other. This is an agreement which has all the hallmarks of political deceit.

The only thing the MCP and UTM agreement achieved was to remove DPP from power. Collectively, all the nine parties that teamed up under the Tonse Alliance banner had as their sole agenda to dislodge Peter Mutharika. It is less surprising that the Tonse brand did not last.

Aford showed discontent and chickened out of the alliance. Other parties followed suit. I do not want to call them small parties. Joyce Banda also said the other day that she was not involved in the signing of any agreement document, although it is still unclear whether her People’s Party (PP) is part of the alliance to this date.

However, women draped in PP regalia are often spotted dancing side by side MCP women at presidential events dubbed development rallies. Occasionally, UTM women too are spotted although fights sometimes so easily erupt whenever MCP and UTM colours come close to each other.

The long and short of this story is that Tonse Alliance is only pronounced on paper because there is nothing like Tonse on the ground. Similarly, the MCP and UTM bond is mentioned only for political convenience because practically the agreement is dead.

Consequently, the political landscape will become dramatic and filled with twists and turns as 2025 election fast approaches. Implementation of the 50+1 formula for electing a president will make the political dynamics even more interesting. Characteristically, the struggle for power will manifest through a reconfiguration of party alliances as presidential candidates jostle for every vote that should count towards the 50+1 end line.

At this point, the smaller parties will become relevant yet again. At this juncture, citizens will become precious commodities to be sought and bought by politicians with pieces of silver. That is the hour of reckoning when parties will resurrect promises and recycle commitments which they dumped the moment 2020 election was over.

Clearly, 2025 elections will see DPP flexing its muscles based on what the party thinks it did better during its tenure. DPP will obviously compare economic performance under Mutharika administration, with current state of the economy under Chakwera administration, among other points of comparison. 

MCP, on the other hand, will have an uphill task to convince Malawians that Chakwera delivers at a time majority of citizens think the country is headed in the wrong direction as observed by the recent findings of Afrobarometer survey. Certainly, some Malawians will wonder how Chakwera can be trusted when his MCP broke the promise in the 2020 agreement with Chilima.

The post Accountability with MCP and UTM agreement first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Accountability with MCP and UTM agreement appeared first on The Nation Online.