President of Umodzi Party (UP), John Chisi has asked those canvassing for federal system of government or North Malawi independence not to let emotions into the debate, saying the federalism zealots are being bankrolled by unknown quarters.
A movement of people of the northern part of the country has been calling for a federal state or for the northern region to secede from the entire country and be a standalone country.
But Chisi, a medical expert turned politician who also comes from the northern region, has argued that federalism is not a national option in the current situation.
“We have to stop emotions in this country,” said Chisi.
Chisi however said debate on the matter should be encouraged and that an amicable solution will eventually be found.
“We are democratic and we want people to debate it freely. However, we do not want emotions during the debate. We want unity in this country. I see that there is currently a lot of emotions in the way people debate it and that will not bring mature solution,” said Chisi.
Chisi said federalism will not work because North Malawi is also fragmented, saying “it is failing to come together under one leader. This is because of mistrust among the people.”
The UP president said his party is against federalism arguing that dividing the country is not the ultimate solution to problems.
“We cannot move forward if we divide the country because at the end of the day, we miss out on crucial issues that can benefit all of us,” he said.
“Look at South Sudan. When they were fighting for freedom, they were united but after Sudan allowed it to secede; new problems emerged where the president fought against his former vice. Look at Nigeria; they are fighting a war there because federalism has not helped. So dividing the country is not the solution to any problems, be they social, political or economic.”
Chisi strongly believes that money is behind those campaigning for federalism.
“In Malawi, it is money that works whether in politics or anything. It is clear that someone is funding this campaign and this person is not a friend of Malawi.
“I would have loved that there should be two funders of this debate; those for and those against federalism so that people can make their judgment. What I see now is that those that are for federalism are the only ones that are being funded. They seem to have more money. That is why when they want to demonstrate, they can easily do that because they have money,” said Chisi who lost presidential race and his party did not win any parliamentary seat in the May elections
Malawi Government has since said that it will consider calling for a referendum to give a chance to Malawians to decide on the future of the country as a federal state.
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