There is a pervasive self-serving view, almost some form of arrogance, that you see in the opposition parties these days.
The mistaken view goes something like this. Because the DPP administration has messed our lives big time through poor governance, nepotism, incompetence and corruption, among other evils, then it is almost automatic, a done deal, that come 2019 Malawians will give power to the opposition.
This cannot be more further from the truth.
The simple truth is that come 2019, Malawians will not replace one band of thieves and incompetents with another.
If that were the case, then it would be better to just maintain the present DPP band.
Malawi has not made progress that has cascaded to the common man on ground to see better quality of life in the many years gone by.
Granted, the past five years have not seen anything different. It has been one sad story of nepotism, rampant corruption, poor governance, a slovenly incompetent government, and the list can go on until cows come home.
But the opposition will be fool-hardy to think that by merely attacking these bad characteristics in the DPP rule, then bingo! Come some cold day in May, 2019 they will be in government.
There is a lot they must do.
For starters, let me isolate MCP.
The party, led by its leader, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, has done a stellar job in exposing President
Peter Mutharika and his DPP’s misrule and how incompetent they have been in the last four years.
Perhaps MCP’s good performance on October 17 last year to win big in by elections was down to this fact.
But it is not enough. MCP must prove to Malawians that it is ready to govern after being in the wildness for over 25 years.
First of all, it must put out a united front something which is a far cry from what is happening on ground.
There are still too many soup spoilers and disgruntled individuals in MCP such as Chatinkha Chidzanja Nkhoma and crew who are happy to sow seeds of confusion.
Then there is policy.
It is not enough for MCP to say DPP is corrupt because Malawians know it is and it upsets them. What I personally want to hear as a citizen is what policy the party will put up to curb corruption.
The fight to stop the idea that Malawians are mere slaves who pay tax but it all ends in thieves’ pockets at Capital Hill, can be dealt with if the ACB is given teeth to bite.
This would happen if ACB was freed from the jaws of the Executive tyranny by making the tenure of its director and deputy safe.
President Peter Mutharika and his DPP, despite promising it in their manifesto, shamelessly made a U-turn after being voted into office.
What does MCP promise Malawians on this? What is its policy on the fight against corruption? It is pretty much the same with all sectors, ranging from health to agriculture and energy.
The opposition must have policy documents to guide it.
Soon it will be a season of conventions. But all we hear and see are people jostling for positions in these opposition parties.
Nobody is talking about making the conventions to discuss policy apart from being elective.
Nobody is talking of parties putting together committees or think tanks to come up with policy stands on various matters affecting the nation leading to policy documents.
Such policy documents would also lay the philosophical basis and show the strategic direction parties would take on public matters that inform the electorate what they would vote for.
But there is nothing of that sort. In other words, the opposition will ask Malawians to give them power because DPP has failed but they do not know what to do with that power in order to serve Malawians.
Simply put, it is power for its own sake that opposition parties are seeking.
The danger with this is that Malawians run the risk of replacing one set of thieves with another set as confusion still reigns supreme in the opposition parties.
And talking of confusion reigning supreme, the opposition People’s Party (PP) seems to be an epitome of it all these days.
This week, the party tried to paper over the cracks by holding an executive committee meeting which fired Uladi Mussa as vice president and suspended Ralph Jooma as another vice president from the Eastern Region.
These were good overdue decisions as the two have clearly left the party and they have one foot already in the DPP.
All this is a result of the romance some PP MPs had with DPP to form a front to reject the electoral reform bills in Parliament. It is clear that some of the PP MPs such as Uladi and Jooma are finding it hard to leave the tango of the romance with DPP.
The fact that PP, during the meeting, made it clear it is not in an alliance with DPP underlines that fact and confusion.
The only question that PP should ask itself is why Malawians should return it to power when it is projecting an image of chaos and lack of strategic direction.
Malawians, I repeat, are not obliged to replace thieves, incompetents and confused band with another.
The opposition parties must show that they are different.