LILONGWE (Muchanakhwaye Khwepeya, Malawi NewsNow ) –The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the so called Chilima Movement which has members in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have rubbished a London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) forecast which suggests that President Peter Mutharika would secure a second term in 2019, saying it is erroneous that will not materialize.
MCP and the Chilima Movement shave dismissed the report, saying the forecast cannot be trusted as it is based on assumption and no prediction will sway the electorate who are longing for change to transformational leadership.
MCP Publicity Secretary, Reverend Maurice Munthali, has trashed the report, saying people should not forget that this is the same organisation that prior to the 2014 Tripartite Elections, predicted victory for Joyce Banda but she ended up losing the election.
“We, as MCP, are not shaken by it; neither are we surprised by it [EIU report] because this is the same organisation that predicted wrongly when former president Joyce Banda was in power [in 2014]. They goofed, they lied and they are lying again.
“The real, and true, reflection is what is happening to Malawians. People are tired, people are burdened and no institution is going to lie to Malawians that they will vote for this government again,” Munthali said.
The EIU argues that, though Mutharika is facing a growing challenge to his authority from his deputy, Saulos Chilima, he holds an upper hand over the latter.
But Chilima Movement spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti- Malunga, said he doubts the trustworthiness of the prediction.
“You see, opinion polls sometimes do not represent the actual truth on the ground and, you know, results of an opinion poll sometimes reflect how the sampling was done. If you draw a biased sample, you are forced to find results that are not correct. We believe that if we are to do proper random sampling in this country, we will find that what they are saying is not correct. We believe that the other way is [true] on the ground.”
Analaysts have also not given the EIU report any credence, saying there is a degree of disappointment in Malawians based on the economic situation facing the country.
University of Malawi academic and Afrobarometer representative, Dr Boniface Dulani, said projections from EIU depend on experts and not people on the ground and, as such, the incumbent has a default advantage.
“Because they [projections] have the incumbency advantage by default, they tend to give advantage to the ruling party. If you go back to 2013/14, their projections were that Joyce Banda would win. Personally, I do not read too much into it.
“I don’t think anyone should be celebrating yet because they have made that projection; the real projection is what will happen on May 21 next year. People get excited with these things, especially in the absence of any opinion data,” Dulani said.
EIU is a United Kingdom-based specialist publisher that serves companies and manages operations across national borders.