Mutharika proposed federalism for Malawi in 2006 – report

As Malawians continue to add their voices to calls for federalism, it has emerged that President Peter Mutharika proposed federalism and proportional representation in the country, describing them as two possible ways of doing away with concerns of regional marginalisation.

President Mutharika called for federal state

President Mutharika called for federal state

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.

According to published reports, this is sharp contrast to his latest statements condemning calls for federalism, a principle he proposed in 2006.

Mutharika recently advised political and religious leaders not divide the nation with calls for federalism or secession.

In the paper, 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.

When asked by Malawi flagship daily The Nation newspaper  to comment on Mutharika’s ‘conflicting’ statements, Press Secretary Frederick Ndala argued that the Presidents still holds the views he voiced in 2006, saying his position on the matter has not evolved.

But Chancellor College based political commentator, Joseph Chunga noted that although the President proposed federalism some years ago, he would not be comfortable to stand up for it now given the power he has now as Head of State.

Chunga said a federal system of government would not offer him much control of the State than in the current unitary State.

“If the President’s opinion on federalism has not been changed, then it is very unlikely that his party would go against it.

“I don’t expect the Information Minister or any government official to go against the idea when the President was for it. But still more, we have to ask; why was the President referring to a document that has views that he is now against? It does not help matters at all,” said Chunga.

But 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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chefourpence
Guest

Bullshit! That was an academic opinion! Its like telling Trapence not to marry a woman because he spports gay rights! APM is practically running the country not cooking some political theories in an academic paper!

hidgeman masina
Guest

TO ME I SUPPORT FEDERALISM BECAUSE THIS CAN CHANGE THE NATION.

Kenkkk
Guest
The biggest mistake we can make is to assume or think that federalism will solve most or all the problems we currently have. It will not. Unless there is strict enforcement of our laws and good governance throughout the central and regional govts under federalism, we will end up with exactly the same problems we are facing now under the unitary system like unequal development or share of resources, cashgates, nepotism, tribalism, regional dictatorship, etc. These problems and many others can’t be overnightly swept away or shoved under the carpet simply because there is a federalism. For federalism to succeed… Read more »
OBAMA
Guest

Manganya, Tamani and those who talk rubbish about federal system if you don’t understand it please go and ask your Form 3 and Form 4 students who are doing Social Studies in secondary schools they will lecture you better than lies that you are propagating on MBC, Galaxy radios, TV and churches. Rev. Tamani please know that the money will be identified in the states and channeled to the office of the President. Make a research before you start talking rubbish.

patrick banda
Guest

the only thing We need in these seconds is federalism..impliment it at all cost..

Mmalawi
Guest

Federal Yemweyo

Anonymous
Guest

i dont like federalism am not part of it am sorry

Greencardless Malawian
Guest
Greencardless Malawian

Takumvani a pitala

VYOTO
Guest

FEDERALISM IS THE WAY TO GO AS PART OF CHANGE UNLESS IF MALAWIANS WANT ONLY MULUZI OF BCA HILL AND MUTHALIKA OF NDATA FAMILIES TO BE THE SOLE BENEFICIARIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Patriot
Guest

It was the Tumbuka or Northerners who started this, its His Excellency The President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika! Tisamvenso kuti ofuna Federalism are selfish, kukhala kunyoza boma, even Peter Mutharika supports federalism! Kikikikikiki, mutipo bwanji pamenepa a Tamani ndi anzanu? Vuto loyankhula musanafufuze umameza osanatafune! Federaalism is one of the solutions to prevent a catastrophe in Malawi, please lets not wait until anthu afepo!!

CHEWA FEDERAL FRONT
Guest
I’m reminded of that beautiful song “We got love” by the Osmonds(Don & Marie-brother/sister) or that Fat Boy who asked in his rap remake of a reggae classic: “Now that we’ve gotten love what are we gona do with it?” If the contents of this article are correct then we have Federalism “in the bag”, meaning, its implementation is guaranteed. In fact, we will not even need a referendum. But then, again, I am a Chewa ‘Fat Boy’ & must still ask whether, under Federalism, Chewas will continue to “flock” to the North to seek jobs when our state is… Read more »
rational
Guest

did you ask joyce banda to state where she stood on the matter of ‘gays’. peter is too smart, he will not tell you his position. he is a leader so he has opened the debate. mukufuna akayankhula mumutukwane mumpezere zifukwa. mukhaula

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