Alliance for Democracy-AFORD has intensified its rebuilding exercise to reclaim its political relevance and value being one of the oldest parties in the country but the story is different with the former governing Democratic Progressive Party.
Both parties are widely viewed as strongly tied to family leaderships and political analysts doubt there will be any sensible rebranding unless the leaders stop from wielding more than necessary powers in the management of their parties.
But AFORD President Enock Chihana thinks they are making positive strides in revamping the party has lost its glory since the demise of its founder and leader, Chakufwa Chihana.
“Over the past months, the rebuilding exercise has registered tremendous progress. We are targeting strengthening party structures at district level. Of course, the second wave of COVID-19 has partly frustrated our plans,” reveals Chihana.
Chihana, who was contemplating of leaving the stage during the party’s next convention, is now not coming out clear if he maintains the decision; saying he shall communicate his final stand later on.
Said Chihana: “You know we were supposed to go for the convention in April 2021 but with the COVID-19 gathering restrictions that might not happen. So, I shall communicate my stand when that time comes.”
However, the DPP is still sailing in troubled waters as power struggle and cracks have rocked the party’s rebuilding exercise.
DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira and the party’s secretary general, Greizelder Jeffrey have more than once disagreed on the period they intend to go for a convention to elect a president as Mutharika retires from active politics.
“The convention will only take place after we have exhausted all consultations with relevant stakeholders. We shall then communicate the date and venue for the high-level elective conference,” said Jeffrey, a statement that was almost rubbished by Mpinganjira days later.
The party instituted a functional review process but governance expert, Makhumbo Munthali doubted if it would yield any positive results; arguing it could have engaged independent experts to carry out the process.
Mutharika continues coming under heavy criticism for allegedly ignoring party structures and listening to members in his “inner circle” that has launched a spirited war against Leader of Opposition and the party’s vice president for the south, Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is believed to be leading some block.