Think-tank Forum for New Direction (Fond) has added its voice to the federism and secession debate, saying it is backing North Malawi to be a standalone state as the north has “not fully participated in the management of the social economic agenda of the northern region.”
Fond general secretary Professor Godwin Mkamanga told Nyasa Times after the think-tank’s meeting in Mzuzu city on Monday, members observed that there have been disparities in infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, and schools.
They also noted that the infamous quota system of selecting students to institutions of higher learning was still affecting the north as many people in the region regard it as education genocide.
Fond in backing calls for federalism, cited the “ethnic diversity which often generates serious political differences in appointments of cabinet, chief executive officers for parastatal and diplomats where the super majority are from the southern part.”
The group noted that the ,Management of natural resources such as Chikangawa Forest and Kayerekera and other mines where there is no transparency in awarding mining concessions, contracts and extractions without regard to environment and wanton cutting down of Chikangawa forest.
In mining contracts, they noted that no indigenous or local economic empowerment is evident as everything is left to foreign Investment.
They also bemoaned the abandonment of the Mtwala corridor for political reasons, saying the Malawi cargo centre in Dar es Salaam and Chilumba port are totally underutilized.
Fond observed that s election and appointments of foreign diplomats is “ethnically influenced” with the north being sidelined.
The group also bemoaned lack of transparency in the allocation of national budget.
The group also noted that there is “deliberate policy to fill all key schools with children from the south and centre excluding children from northern region by central government.”
And that university and foreign scholarships for our children are awarded along regional lines.
Fond also faulted President Peter Mutharika’s latest accusation about commission of inquiry into death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika as objective evidence of “ tribalistic tendencies.”
Said Prof, Mkamanga: “ Fond endorses the debate on Federal System of Government by calling its entire member base and all like minded people to a meeting on 28 September 2014 Sunday where new office bearers will be duly elected but time and venue will be communicated later on our radio stations.”
The group said it welcomes government respresentative to the debate “ instead of wasting resources and time to bribe our chiefs as there are not the only stakeholders in such regard.”
All northern region party leadership and other pressure groups, Clergy and chiefs have also been invited to the debate.
A pressure group has been formed in Mzimba led by Dr Bina Shaba to campaign for federal system of government in Malawi has welcomed the debate.
Traditional Authority Mwilang’ombe in Karonga said the “open debate” on the North Malawi independence is welcome “to hear people’s views.”
Recently , Aford sole lawmaker Enock Chihana backed the calls for federalism and argued that Malawi political system has to change to suit the prevailing environment.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmaker Alekeni Menyani also backed calls to adopt a federal system of government in Malawi.
President Mutharika has since urged political and religious leaders to give dialogue and reconciliation a chance, instead of dividing the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :