I never proposed federalism but removing regional boundaries -Mutharika

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has denied reports that he previously proposed federalism and proportional representation in the country, describing them as two possible ways of doing away with concerns of regional marginalisation.

President Mutharika interacting with former Nyasa Times and Joy Radio journalist Rabecca Chimjeka ( now with The Nation newspaper) at Sanjika Palace

President Mutharika interacting with former Nyasa Times and Joy Radio journalist Rabecca Chimjeka ( now with The Nation newspaper) at Sanjika Palace

Addressing the National Constitutional Review Conference in Lilongwe, held from 28 to 31 March 2006 titled ‘Towards a More Manageable Constitution, Mutharika, then professor at Washington University School of Law in USA, publicly proposed federalism while addressing the issue of national unity.

Mutharika hosted Malawi media practitioners to a dinner at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre on Tuesday and said he has never been pro-federalism.

“I have never supported federalism. I came here as a consultant on the constitution asked to comment on a number of proposals such as revolving the Presidency [among the three regions], federalism and proportional of representation. I talked about all of the [three proposals] and how they could be applied to the context of Malawi,” said Mutharika.

He stated: “What I said in the case of Malawi was that one way would be to abolish the regional boundaries. For the three regions are not geographically equal in size. In fact the regions have no legal meaning as they are not mentioned in the constitution.

“What I said, against this background, was to abolish the regions and use the 28 districts as the first administrative units. In that way we could be empowering people while effecting decentralisation. But I did not support federalisation”.

In the paper he presented in 2006, Mutharika claims that proportional representation worked well in countries like Namibia, South Africa and Mauritius, urging Malawians to borrow the leaf from those countries.

Making a case on the federal system of government, Mutharika also used the Nigerian government, saying “Another and perhaps more radical response (are) to simply abolish the three regions and create the district as the basic administrative unit.”

The paper says Nigeria successfully resolved the problems that were created by the existence of its three regions at the time of independence in 1960 into what are now 36 States and one federal territory.

“While the initial decision to abolish the regions led to war, Nigeria is now a much more unified and stable country,” he said.

Information, Tourism and Culture Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa recently said government would ask the Public Affairs Committee (PAC), the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and other stakeholders to facilitate debate on the matter.

Meanwhile, PAC has resolved to hold a a national stakeholders forum on inclusivity and federalism November 24 and 25 under theme ‘Enhancing a Common Understanding on Inclusivity and Federalism in Malawi.

The conference will engage speakers on federalism from abroad, in particular from countries practising the principle.

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50 thoughts on “I never proposed federalism but removing regional boundaries -Mutharika”

  1. Jimmy says:

    A person of sober habits cant understand what Peter is trying to say here on this matter,he is jst turning the very same words he said or wrote around to confuse ppl of malawi.He is only power hungry and does not want to see others taking those seats at local govnt,but zichitika even ukufuna or sukufuna no way it has been high time experiencing this selective development.

  2. Jimmy says:

    I was born in the North,raised up there and became to know more abt the side,but i have hardly seen a development happening as compared to LL&BT,so i really support federalism system bcz it wrks well and have seen it in SA.No part of the same country is left behind bcz it has its on local government that operates.Unlike in Malawi you jst sit and wait from the national government whose ppl are selfish and thieves,foolish let us enjoy our own development bcz national gvnt has failed to deliver compeletely.

  3. johnM says:

    Can Nyasatimes print the paper in which Peter expressed his views on federalism? We can then see what he meant without really debating on his current stance.

  4. Nkhata bay wake up says:

    This can only mean one thing that Mr President can not be trusted yet he is a leader, how can we take him seriouly today he will say one thing tomorrow will deny.federalism is the way to go Mr President dont be selfish because you want more power ,please do it for the country .People will remember you for that. that you are the one who started federalism in Malawi.Federalism is not for the Chewas or the Tumbukas but is for the development of the whole country.

  5. Optic Computer says:

    If Peter was hired to provide expert advice to the government, and actually said that the regions be abolished like in Nigeria, then his expertise is to be questioned. The 36 states of Nigeria also are divided into districts (or simply states of Nigeria are not districts, but are made up of Local Government Areas). For instance, Oyo State has 33 LGA with administrative seats in diverse cities and towns. It doesn’t mater whether in a federal government a political region is called a state (as in Nigeria and USA), a province (as in Canada), an emirate (as in the United Arabs Emirates), as a Kingdom (like in the United Kingdom), but what matters is that that region attains political autonomy.

  6. chakhalira says:

    As I said earlier on that it is not in my best interest to comment on this Federalism issue because it seems those people who know very little about this system are the people who talk more but are misleading the people out there because they are so emotional and kutukwana kokha kokha. Chonde nenani mfundo zeni zeni.

    This time around I am so disappointed with the answer or comment of the Ex Law Professor currently the President of Malawi who was a consultant on several issues at that time. On the very paper he wrote, I have read in part, he says……………” What I said was to abolish the regions and use 28 Districts as first Administrative units ………in that way we could be empowering people while effecting decentralisation……….”

    If you read this with sober mind, what then did this Professor say or mean? Is he denying himself that this was his voice? What then did he really say?
    Abale, the issue here is not about a Tumbuka kupita kwawo, this is an element of hatred that should not be condoned. On one hand these Professors should learn to admit if they said something at that time and see that to day their motives, because of other things have changed would like to eat more. Do not hide under a Tumbuka, look at the reality that this very Professor said about Nigeria in those days and to day. As a matter of fact let this Professor come out very clear on what he was trying to tell Malawians then and today now he is the President of the same Malawi.

    Think very sober NOT emotional!

  7. Kikikiki says:

    Wow! It looks and one could suggests our president has lost it completely.
    ….. In the first place, if we’re to peddle backwards was the job advertised to local and internationally consultants who understood the need? I can hardly recall that you me, unless one reminds and educate me otherwise. So his brother, late mutharika coerhersed his family to come around and fool people and got away with millions of kwachas for the job he didn’t even know to execute it. What a shame!
    I’ve said it many times this guy has got no clue and worst still he’s surrounded by deluded morons.

  8. Zeze says:

    Uli Mukusintha Vakuyowoya?Fedral Oye!!

  9. Manjawala says:

    Lucious amene anaba certificate? Kaya cha. Mutobweka wanthu.

  10. Alfred Munduwabo says:

    A toothless bulldog is a failure indeed . Why changing your statement today ? After staying in America over fifty years you thought you will come to rule stupid Malawi as easy as you came ?

    Very soon expect yourself to be no more , you were not supposed to force yourself to become a president through a back door. You have mountains of problems to sort out and you will give up very soon . Nursery school children are tired of you already , what about if the whole nation show anger on you ? That was Southern Region , what more if two regions start to revote agains you , are you going to survive ?

  11. Iwe Jabesi opanda kwawo ndi abale ako omwe adzadzana mu ma estate kuno ku mpoto.

  12. Peter says:

    iwe mwanamulanje let me tell u ntumbuka ndi munthu wophunzira kwambiri pa malawi pano ndiponso samawopa munthu.Kamudzu Banda {The Great} analira chifukwa cha ntumbuka.Anthu osauka pamalawi pano ndinutu alomwe.Tionana pa nkhani ya mafuta a m’nyanja 4rm 2day dont abuse ntumbuka wamva iwe fisi

    1. Papa Matiki says:

      Choka mbuzi yolamulidwa iwe! Letme tell u, u’ll Neva rule this country, ndinunkhosa zowetedwa! Where r u? Kuti ku Blantyre konkuno osamakakhala ku mapiri kwanuko bwanji?

  13. zide says:

    Conduct a referendum in the north. if the answer will be yes then introduce federalism – period! enough is enough!

  14. Jabesi says:

    Mukunamatu a tumbuka agalu inu opanga kwanu inu. Simunalire kumeneko ndikuyamba. And believe you me YOU WILL NEVER EVER RULE THIS COUNTRY. Inu muzingokhala mu tchire mwanu muja ngati njuchi. You are just another group of crying babies as said by Luciuos Banda MP

    1. Kapolo wa Mulungu says:

      I hope you will live long to see this happen in your very eyes. Who knew that myawo or Mlomwe could lead this country?
      Becareful with what you say. Anyone can lead this country and only God knows who and when. Who knew that a person from a mixed race – black and white would rule the white dominated mighty USA? Who knew that the white South Africans would one day give up power to the blacks?
      Chenjerani polankhula Akulu. Actually the more you don’t wish this to happen, the more probable it becomes. Just wait!

  15. namaoda says:

    olo atanena si one man decision kuti we become a federal system. you want him to dictate poti ndi pulezidenti ndipo iweyo ukufuna. Malawians will decide

  16. bande says:

    Skono yakoma mkamwa sangabvomere. Coment yabwera mochedwa

  17. Emanuell thembachako says:

    Nde uchisiluwo uwu unanena osamasewelesa amalawi galu iwe

  18. Kalanga says:

    Eeee any person who comments z tumbuka koma abale zinazi becareful.

    Do u know where Tumbukaz are my friend in the north!

    U r talking as if the whole south z lomwe bwa and yet u r in mj, thyolo, phalombe and part of zomba and chiradzulu!

    Talk issues and not tribes and God wl appreciate!

  19. Che says:

    makes no difference

  20. Mccarty says:

    This President is Very Foolish, Malawi is going nowhere with this Mess.

  21. DUWA KALIRANI says:

    Macheeeeeeeeza. Nyiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimbolooooooooo zanu. Anyapapi

  22. Kaya inu says:

    Ameneyu ndi ofoira et, kukana words of his own mouth? Its too early man

  23. Plebian says:

    What a shame of an academic professor of law. I thought he said Malawians should have a healthy. The best he should have said would be he will comment on the issue until Malawians have done so. APM Apa Palidi Mavuto. Munthu analephera ngati minister uyo. A Malawi kusamva ndi kupanda nzeru ndi izi pano mavuto okhaokha. APA PALI MANTHANYULA Woyee! (APM)

  24. Mwanamulanje watero says:

    Guys out there you can comment against APM to any dimensions but do not belittle the Lomwe. I mean you Tumbukas you dont belittle somebody who has fought you down? You dont belittle a fellow man who has managed to take away your wife. You dont belittle someone who is controlling you completely. You dont belittle a drum beater while you still dancing to beats. Talking in biafra language wont assist us thus why biafra language has put Nigeria closer to Bokoharams where they can not see any day that bokos will give up. We dont want this in Malawi. Stupid Mtumbukas. Ndinafasatu mufuna mundiyambenso eti anthu. Atumbuka muli bii ngati chakuda chidona Skeffa. Osamapita kwanu bwanji. Mulibeko? Who are Tumbukas makoleji akuphunzira anu tinamanga ndi a Lomwe. then why kunyoza.

    1. dodo says:

      Iwe go to hell.ana amahule inu!nkhani ndiyoti nkhalamba yanu ya chilomwe zaikanika!!!!!!osati atumbuka atumbuka ndiye kuti chani nyani iwe ya!!!@!!!tell mr ibu to get focussed and manage the country!!@! Osamango pwitsa ndi this aids infested lady, nzukwa wa chabechabe ya!!!!!

  25. Plebian says:

    Peter has two faces. The 2006 face & the 2014. The former was wise & intelligent while the latter a true black man with black heart, brain, mouth & eyes all perfecting the evil of tribalism, regionalism & greed. Sorry Malawians that the truth. We need a civil war to rid us of this system. South Sudan took 20 yrs to get independence. We need war now. Am ready to take up arms. What will profit us now when our children face quota system in their own country?

    1. Kapolo wa Mulungu says:

      No we don’t want a civil war. Masauko Chipembere and Yatuta Chisiza tried it after the infamous 1965 cabinet crisis to rid Malawi of the rooming Dr Banda’s autocratic rule. It was done in ‘good’ faith but Chipembere’s uprising was suppressed and he was banished and Yatuta killed. Yet the oppressor lived on for the next 32 yrs. This is not the time for people to shed blood. Leave the oppressor and time will catch up with him sooner or later.

  26. OBAMA says:

    HOW CAN WE TRUST THAT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING TODAY OR PROMISED DURING CAMPAIGN TIME ARE REAL. IF YOU ARE DENYING WHAT YOU SAID AND IT WAS RECORDED AND DOCUMENTED. AMATI SIYA PHAZI UKASIYA MULOMO UDZAKUTSATA. NDIZIMENEZO.

    MALAWIANS LET ME SAY THIS ANYONE WHO WILL LEAD THIS COUNTRY BY STEALING THEIR RIGHTS OF VOTES FROM MALAWIAN WILL NEVER LAST LONG IN HIS/HER PRESIDENCY. NGATI MUNTHU UKUDZIWA KUTI UNABERA MPANDO WA U PRESIDENT NKUMATI NDAWINA UZINGOKHALIRA CHEU-CHEU. PRAY THAT GOD SHOULD FORGIVE YOU AND OPENLY DECLARE THAT YOU CHEATED MALAWIANS AND READY TO STEP DOWN FOR EARLY ELECTIONS OTHERWISE THE PROPHECY WILL COME TO PASS.

  27. Nachipati says:

    Atumbuka nkhani ndimeneyo!

  28. Nkhombokombo says:

    What I may understand better is that you become a better consultant on a thing you know well. How can someone be called to advise Malawians on Fedralism or otherwise, when he had lived in USA for a full active part of his life and claim he knows Malawi better than those of us who have lived the full life here? Class teaching and running a Gvt are two different things though they both require Education exposure. Here, we are just being smeared with all sorts of gabbage because they still think Malawians are asleep and dull. These refutals at times sulk. It is better to swallow our pride some times. No mortal is perfect.

  29. maganizo wa maganizo says:

    I THINK TO BE MTUMBUKA IS HARAM,THESE PEAOPLE DO NOT HAVE BRAINS.HOW CAN THEY TELL LIES TO THE NATION THAT APM PROPOSED FEDERALISM.WAPHARIRA IMWE.NDICHIFUKWA CHAKE MUCHILICONSE CHOPANGIKA MMALAWI MUNO MTUMBUKA AMAKHALA KOTSILIZIRA,KUMAPETO KWENIKWENI,KUNCHIRA.IT SHOWS HOW DULL YOU ARE.

  30. VYOTO says:

    MALAWIANS ALREADY KNEW THAT NOW THAT PETER IS A PRESIDENT NOT THE SO CALLED CONSULTANT HE WOULD DENY HIS OWN POSITION ON FEDERALISM.BY THE WAY HOW WAS PETER CHOSEN AS A CONSULTANT THEN? WAS THE SELECTION PROCESS OPEN AND COMPETITIVE ENOUGH ? OR IT WAS ONE OF THOSE LATE BINGU STYLES TO ENRICH HIS RELATIVES AS WAS THE CASE WITH CALISTA CHIMOMBO MK1MILLION SALARY PER MONTH FOR DOING CHARITY WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ACB HAS SOME WORK HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. London says:

    To say this president(APM) has no brains is understatement. He is the most worst un intelligent person you can imagine. I Cry for my country to have this type of leadership

  32. Dr. Godfrey Mvuma says:

    Malawians, you have already started reaping the fruits of senseless voting. How could you with five (5) senses and right mind vote for such a lunatic. This is the person who failed to do his job and play his role when his elder brother was foolishly persecuting the Academicians who were trying to correct issues that could have helped his Ministry and of course the country( which was to the benefit of the President as well). You are yet to see worse things he has yet to do. It is “Pay back time” for your voting sins Malawians. God is watching.

  33. Nyapapi says:

    kodi guyz sizingatheke kuwerenga nkhani osapanga koment ayi? monga ine lero sindipanga nawo coment

  34. ujeni says:

    It is confirmed, Peter Mutharika is insane. Your own proposal, today you are trying to ran away from it?

  35. Onasiwelo says:

    So even what Brain recorded of you talking bad about the Tongas and all people from the North is not true is it apm, NO you may be a proffesor of Law yes god and fine but that does not make you the most smart guy on the land their is only one who is smart than any human being and that is GOD, you said this and you meant what you said. Just accept about this proposal if you do not want another biafra war here. We are sick and tied of you people.

  36. Aliphee says:

    ndizimenezo mumayesa zophweka

  37. fisi Gammar says:

    IZI NDIYE ZA MATHANYULADI ZEDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

  38. ANALYST says:

    Koma ndi zoonadi kuti anthu onse ophunzira si anzeru eti? How can the “mere removing of regional boundarioes on paper” remove discrimination, tribalism, nepotism, etc? The ideology has already “stuck” in people’s minds – we segregate each other based on our names (if you see a Nyirenda/Nyirongo/Mkandawire/Chirambo, etc you know they are from the north; Mwale/Banda/Phiri/Chilikumwendo, etc you know they are from the centre; Mutharika/Mwanamvekha/Mulli, etc they are from the South); so how could merely abolishing the regional boundaries deal with such problems? Utsogoleri umenewu utivuta bwanji??????????

  39. Mwanakhu says:

    Ukuopa chiyani lero nkhani yoti unanena wekha? With such kind of leadership Malawi can not move forward. To day federalism is bad because you’re at the helm of power.

  40. Malawian Jew says:

    I wonder whether the president understands how ethnicity works in Malawi. Why consult someone who never lives in Malawi in the first place. It is like taking a Malawian as a consultant on American constitutional affairs. Removing regional boundaries, how mr. President? Are you going to use a bulldozer to eradicate the boundaries? Regionalism has reached a stage of no going back. It is now a virus in the blood stream. Malawians need to be educated on patriotism and oneness as a nation. Colonialism and politics has deeply divided this nation. It will take another 50 years to change the mindset of the inhabitants. When a Southerner will come to accept a northerner to rule over the Malawi nation, by then we shall talk of eradication of regional boundaries. Until then Federalism is an immediate remedy to the actual crisis.

  41. zeze says:

    this dude is confused! NO! I never proposed federalism, I was only commenting as a consultant . Utter clap!

  42. mabvuto akula says:

    All this talk about federalism and inclusivity is as a result of a government which has refused to accept that it favours Lhomwes in everything. If only the government listened to its citizens by equitably appointing people in top positions from all regions this would not have been there. But we have a government which thinks Lhomwes own Malawi. Do not run away from what you said man. If making the North, Centre and South into states like in Nigeria is not Federalism then let us go that route. Malawians are saying no to being controlled and dominated by one tribe and a very small tribe for that matter. You can have the Mulanje Mountain and the tea estates and ten leave some of us to handle our own affairs. Kusanva basi. Kunalibe izi.

  43. ndangodutsa chisale says:

    Kodi Mbuzi ya President ikuti chani?? Verbo vola scripta manet. What you speak flies and what you write remains. Ife tili nayo copy ya presentation yako. Osatinamiza apa.

  44. Chrispine Salanje says:

    hahahaha!What a contradiction from this president of ours koma apa palidi mavuto-APM

  45. KODI ANTHU INU MMAMVA BWANJI ??? NDINAKUUZANI LITI KUTI NDIZAGAWA FOTOLOZA WA ULERE ??? Aaaaaah ???? NDINATI TIZAGULITSA FOTOLOZA WA ULEYA !!! ULEYA !! Eeeetu E eee !!!

    MAZIGOGOWA ZAWO NZIMODZI !!

  46. Bitolo says:

    peter mutharika sort this economic mess out, dont behave as a chameleon now peter, sort the hell economic mess za federalism tayimika kaye ndithu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wakanika mamawa do u speak just to register that u r still around what?????? shammeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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