Even the DPP turns up to welcome Joyce Banda
There is no real change on the political scene in Malawi as the same faces that dominated the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politics have enmasse defected to the People’s Party (PP) in almost a comical way.
Kamuzu International Airport on Monday turned into an orange arena, with senior political figures, who wore blue just last month at the late president Bingu wa Mutharika's last function in Lilongwe, in PP colours.
Hundreds of PP women and youth were ferried to the airport in lorries, though most of them bore private registration plates. A Ministry of Agriculture minibus was also among those that ferried the people.
The political melodrama was very evident from the beginning with DPP heavy weights, including regional governor for the Centre Kalazi Mbewe, presidential advisor on women Mai Margret Chiponda and deputy regional governor for the Centre David Kambalame, arriving at the airport in either orange attires or jacket lapels.
More Amai Abingu, youth cadets, MPs and current and former Cabinet Ministers followed, also wearing orange colours.
Naughty PP youth kept singing "mumatinena kuti sitilamura, lero talamula [you said we would not rule the country but we are now ruling] with gestures being directed at the obvious new comers.
The split was evident, as the DPP officials sat on their own in small groups while those that have been with PP from the beginning, such as a Mr. Ngopi, a Mr. Chivunde, Salim Bagus, Kizito Ngwembe, Brown Mpinganjira, Steven Mwenye, Boniface Kadzamira, Ken Msonda and others, kept moving from one group to another. The women too were sitting in different groups.
Leader of Opposition John Tembo, who over the weekend indicated that he would accept the post of second Vice-President if offered, also turned up with his entourage. He opted for a 600 metre walk with Vice-President Khumbo Kachali from the VVIP lounge to where the President would land.
When President Joyce Banda alighted from the presidential jet, 7Q-One, she greeted officials. Members of the private media could not be given space to ask questions as protocol only allowed Malawi Broadcasting Corporation journalists on the red carpet.
The President said she went to South Africa and Liberia as a matter of courtesy call and to brief leaders of the two countries on the forthcoming African Union summit.