Paramount Chief Kyungu along with his counterpart Chikulamayembe have left President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s special adviser Symon Vuwa Kaunda egg-faced following their sudden change of heart to quash federalism as the two now say that they support the call for a federal state in Malawi.
When Vuwa Kaunda, who is presidential adviser on unity and parliamentary affairs held a series of meetings to garner support from the chiefs in government effort to counter federalism calls, the two condemned those who were calling for federalism arguing that the move would divide the country and marginalize further the northern region.
However, both Kyungu and Chikulamayembe have made a surprise change of mind.
Kyungu, who was the first to champion the anti-federalism campaign said he is comfortable with federalism.
“But we need this to be a national call, not only from the people of the north. The North should not be seen to be the only one in support of federalism and I would want to advise its proponents to meet people in the Central and Southern regions to establish their stand and come up with a consensus,” said Kyungu who is from the northern district of Karonga.
However, Kyungu added that he would have been more comfortable with a proposal to have rotational presidency, arguing it is a viable solution to cries of segregation.
Chikulamayembe from another northern district of Rumphi said he is in full support of federalism and that he gave proponents of federalism a blessing to champion the debate.
“To me they have genuine reasons. I earlier condemned federalism because the proponents did not consult me as a chief and went ahead to raise the matter in Parliament,” he said.
Chikulamayembe said his new stand has not been influenced by criticism from Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya.
Msowoya, who is also from Karonga condemned the northern region chiefs for rebuffing federalism without properly understanding the concept.
“I am not a chief who can easily be pushed. I am a chief who speaks his mind and I am speaking my mind,” said Chikulamayembe while refusing to discuss whether his earlier position was just to please Vuwa Kaunda or was out of any incentive from government.
Meanwhile, President Peter Mutharika has called for “honest and lawful debate” on whether the country should adopt a federal system of government.
“It is a legitimate thing that people must be free to debate issues as long as they are doing it honestly and within the confines of the law,” said Mutharika at a news briefing on Monday October 6 in Blantyre.
Mutharika declined to give his views, saying doing so would stifle the debate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :