It was rumoured that during the ill-fated tenure of Peter Mutharika as the country’s head of state, his wife Gertrude wielded so much unsanctioned power that led to most of the glaring costly blunders her husband made.
It came as a surprise therefore when speculations were rife that from the day her husband was ejected out of power after that humiliating defeat in the 2020 elections that the skirmish former First Lady has been plotting moves for her husband to have another go at the presidency in the 2025 elections.
And the speculations could not have been justified the way the DPP at a rally over the weekend. Addressing party supporters on Saturday at St Augustine Primary School Ground in Mangochi, Mutharika all but subtly indicated that he will once again be on the ballot paper representing the party as its candidate in the 2025 election.
Although Mutharika did not directly say that he will contest for the presidency in the next presidential election due in three years time, he implicitly said Malawians are currently saying that as long as Mutharika is alive he cannot allow anyone to become the leader of DPP let alone be the party’s presidential candidate.
With madam Getrude pulling strings behind the scenes, it’s becoming increasingly impossible for the Mutharika’s to hand over their prized asset (the DPP leadership) to someone else apart from them.
As if to confirm of his comeback, Mutharika said his government will fix the economy in six months after being voted back to power.
Call it the power of the pillow talk, but if Mutharika indeed decides to contest in the forthcoming election, it will mean that he is an overly ambitious man who can be likened to a Shakespearean character Lady Macbeth for her manipulated attitude which has resulted in Mutharika to change his mind of installing his nephew Kabambe as the new leader of DPP.
The indication of Mutharika for a possible comeback spells doom for his ‘’good boys’’ Kabambe and Bright Msaka who are nursing their own presidential ambitions for themselves. These two have stood through thick and thin with Mutharika even when the beleaguered rebel leader Kondwani Nankhumwa had the courage to challenge his leadership to the point of telling the old man that he has overstayed his welcome and must step aside for the betterment of the party.
For Nankhumwa this is good news as he will have a legitimate claim for what he has always been saying that Mutharika wants to be clingy when the writing is on the wall that he has outlived his usefulness. In fact, this feels like a vindication for the populist Southern Region vice President and he will gladly tell his followers that he saw it coming.
The question people will be asking as the party will be heading the July convention is whether the two golden boys in Kabambe and Msaka will continue to play safe or they will step out of comfort zone and become morbid in a bid to save their leadership ambitions.
Whatever happens for them is matter of speculations.
For Nankhumwa it’s pretty obvious that that he will go all the way to challenge Mutharika and perhaps inflict the old man with the much-needed defeat during the convention that will condemn him to the disgraceful exit from the political scene once and for all.
The daredevil in Nankhumwa, one Sunday afternoon in August this year told his supporters who braved the scorching sun at Nyambadwe Ground in Blantyre that he is not deterred by the underhandedness ploy being employed the madala team to make him cower. He told his supporters predominantly from the Lhomwe belt party’s stronghold which also his foothold that he will face off anyone who will challenge him at the convention but he was confident that he will emerge victorious.
He said: “They have tried everything to make me submit to their intentions, but I will not be intimidated a wink no matter how tough the going will be. And I would like to say that I win the DPP presidency come rain or hail water. It will not matter where the convention would held-whether they will choose it to take place in the trees or wherever, wherever it will be held be assured that I will prevail’’
Whatever will happen from now, one thing is clear that the influence of a Getrude Mutharika is looming large in the DPP and she will make everything possible to see to it that her husband who will be 85 by the time will head to the polls is the party’s torch bearer and she will not entertain anyone to stand between her and her aspirations.