Malawi government’s efforts to quash federalism and secession issues in the Northern Region have taken a tumble after people in Karonga rubbished the process, saying an issue of such importance cannot only be narrowed to chiefs.
At a community meeting attended by hundreds of Karonga residents and chiefs, Symon Vuwa Kaunda who is Presidential Adviser on National Unity was strongly advised to go back to the drawing board before unnecessarily dishing out money to the chiefs in the region.
“If you people in government think that we will fail to achieve a Federal or full State simply because you are talking to chiefs then you will be in for a shock. This issue will reach a point where even chiefs will not have a say,” said Maupo Chirambo who plies his trade at the boma market.
Concurring with Chirambo was Sekani Munthali who faulted Vuwa’s failure to stand with his own brothers and sisters.
“Don’t betray your own people simply because you are eating sausages with these people. We will get what we want whether you give money to chiefs or not. It is our destiny not that of chiefs and we will make a final determination as one people,” she said.
The meeting was attended by influential chiefs in the district such as Kyungu, Mwakaboko, Kalonga, Wasambo and Mlerang’ombe among others.
Sensing the rising tension during deliberations, the chiefs stuck to diplomacy and never promised Kaunda anything in fear of the citizens.
Calls for federalism and secession come at the back of little development in the North despite the region being a rich area in precious minerals like uranium including other money-spinning materials and services such as timber and tourism.
Some years back government negotiated a mineral exploitation deal at Kayerekera Uranium Mine with Paladin but the company failed to honour their social responsibility up until the mine was closed last year due to uncertain world prices.
The issue of federalism and secession of the north is fast becoming thorny to the new regime of Peter Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led administration.
Government is reportedly bankrolling its officials including Vuwa to give influential leaders in the north with cash bribes to fight the North Malawi secession movement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :