British envoy to Malawi censure PP’s Chibwana on one-party State

The British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin has described remarks made by the People’s Party (PP) Secretary General Henry Chibwana as dangerous to the future of this country.

Nevin made the remarks in Lilongwe during the Extra-Ordinary General Meeting organized by the Youth Consultative Forum (YCF).

“It is unfortunate that such remarks are coming from that high office of the party, it is our hope that he will come and clarify on what he said. We don’t know whether he was saying those remarks out of excitement or not “said Nevin.

“Looking critically at the remarks, I find them very enthusiastic and uncalled for in the democratic world. It is my hope that Chibwana will come out and clarify as to what he meant when he said that,” said Nevin while wondering if it was a one way of blackmailing the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

British envoy Michael Nevin: One-party state remarks unacceptable
British envoy Michael Nevin: One-party state remarks unacceptable

Chibwana recently caught the attention of Malawians when he said the country should revert to one political party.

His remarks have endeared him to heavy criticism from various sectors including Civil Society and opposition political parties calling for his resignation for “bringing PP into disrepute”.

After his remarks some PP officials have come out open to distance Chibwana’s comments saying he was just expressing his personal views and opinions.

But some PP officials have been flooding social media sugar coating the statement to back Chibwana, saying indeed “Malawi is one party ruling, one president at a time.”

Nevin called for a complete overhaul to the current political set up in the country saying there is need for politics of ideas than those of aiming at pulling down opponents.

“As we are going to clock 50 years of self-rule, [Malawians] have to think as to what have been achieved so far. For the past years, we have tried but all we put in place has not worked. We need to find something new, a new model that can create jobs for the young people regardless of where one comes from.

“Some people have been calling for the president to have a smaller convoy, but it is not the convoy that can help us to develop no matter how big or small it is, but what is very important is what the president does. We need to have a national endeavor, a national vision that any president can follow.

“The youth need to organize and develop coherent demands with way how they can be achieved and when, for the leadership to adopt,” he said.

He then called upon the youth to be actively being involved in the forthcoming Tripartite Elections.

“The youth should register, and try as much as possible to find ways on how you can bring those vying for various position on one place to get what they have on offer for this country, spread the word, this is your elections.”

The EGA’s Chairperson Kondwani Kaunda said with the 2014 tripartite elections approaching, the youth should also build census on how to approach the elections to ensure that they are free, fair and violent free.

“Previous elections have been characterized by intimidation and violence among rival parties and youths have been used as agents on that part, so we are not any looking at how many young people should contest and win the elections, but we have to  reflect on the approaches to help consolidate democracy and good governance,” he said.

Among other things, the participants are to review of progress on youth engagement on policy issues, presentations on capacity building and governance, drawing action plan on policy issues and interventions, discussion of the youth aspirations to inform 2014/2015 development agenda.

The Youth Consultative Forum (YCF) is a voluntary youth movement comprising individual youths, student unions, young professionals, youth organizations, networks, coalitions, young women movements and other actors in youth work set to promote meaningful youth participation in development through the strengthening of collective
youth voice and action focusing on youth development, citizen empowerment and policy dialogue in Malawi.

YCF envision a Malawi society where youths are productive and active partners in development.

The Motto for YCF is “Giving Back to Mother Malawi” in recognition of the role of every citizen and groups including the youth in building a better Malawi.–(Additional reporting by Mabvuto Kambuwe, Nyasa Times)

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