Recently, it was reported in the media that the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) legislators wanted to move to government benches in the National Assembly because they are in a coalition with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The decision by the UDF raised a lot of questions among some quarters of the society of which some argued that the decision made by the UDF was wrong because they were not elected in a coalition with DPP.
One of the local political and social commentators Rafiq Hahat who is also the Executive Director for Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) also said that UDF legislators who move to government side in parliament must be expelled from parliament because were not elected in a coalition with DPP.
Hajat also said that UDF should learn from mistakes that were made by other parties before, he cited example of the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) which also went in a coalition with UDF in 1994 after losing the general elections.
The decision made AFORD to lose its popularity such that its legislators have been decreasing that as of today the party has got only one legislator the son of the former president of the party who is also president of the party Enock Chihana.
Hajat further said that coalitions only benefits ruling parties to have majority numbers in parliament so that they should not face difficulties in passing budget and passing other bills and laws.
Apart from Hajat, some UDF supporters too, are not happy with the coalition as it deems to be beneficial for the Muluzi and Mutharika families.
The divisions that are emerging in UDF should act as wake up call for the party to get its house in order before things get out of hand.
The UDF should have learnt from what happened before when the veteran politician Gwanda Chakuamba did with his Republican Party (RP) when he went into a coalition with DPP under the leadership of the late Bingu wa Mutharika his party became unpopular.
When Chakuamba was fired as minister some of his legislators who were appointed as ministers remained in government as it was the case with AFORD when its leader resigned from his post of second vice president citing massive corruption in the UDF government.
This has also happens in other countries as well in Africa like Zimbabwe where the leader of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Morgan Tsangarails formed alliance with the ruling ZANU-PF of Robert Mugabi following disputes after previous elections.
In recent elections the MDC lost miserably to the ruling ZANU-PF, the same with UDF it will be difficult for people to trust them because they will associate them with the mistakes that the current government will make since they are together in a coalition.
However, the decision made by the UDF is not wrong provided if it is for the benefit of all Malawians and the party as well as its followers. It should not be for the benefit of certain region, tribe or family.
It is not strange for political parties to make alliances because it happens all over the World as long as it is for the benefit of the people.