A Congress Of Bitterness, Amateurs And Comedians: The Case Of Comic UTM Convention
Oh yes ladies and gentlemen, here we go again; another tragicomic episode of …. Chilima’s ‘dynasty’ (pun intended).
So, yesterday we had the grandiose convention of UTM…Yes, this glorified convention…the epitome of meritocracy, democracy and above all, free will…
For starters, UTM does not have real candidates in numerous regions. Why is that, you may ask. Well, apart from the blatantly obvious reason, as in, people simply not supporting the movement (we wonder why…!), UTM’s leadership had -in effect- the whole thing pre-arranged.
It goes without saying, that they already knew who they were going to allocate the majority of positions to. Thus, naturally a plethora of potentially young, educated and talented people did not even bother to compete, since the result was ab initial predetermined.
And everyone knew it, on top of all. Hence no competition, no fuss. Not to mention that the individuals appointed as ‘District Governors’ are essentially all Chilima’s figureheads; they do not really represent the people from the areas they are supposed to. They are merely there because they were told to.
Not an ounce of democratic ideals, meritocratic procedures or ‘sportsmanship’. Then again, who cares, you might ask. Well, certainly not Chilima. There were even reports that various delegates stayed at Chinsapo, Kawale and Mchesi rest houses, without water or food for a long period of time. Well, they are having fun over there at UTM, don’t they?
Certainly, it is not uncommon for clientelistic, nepotistic and cronyistic practices to occur on a small or large scale even, but most people try -at least- to make it less flagrantly evident. But not Chilima and his acolytes. ‘They ain’t got no time for that’.
Secondly, it comes as no surprise that only 892 delegates attended the party’s inaugural conference; that is actually the smallest of all parties-DPP:2100, PP:1500, MCP:1000, UDF:1800 delegates. It is also no big secret that the UTM is continuously losing supporters and its internal structure is slowly being eroded. Intramural rifts, hubristic tendencies and ulterior motives are tearing UTM’s leadership apart.