Malawi govt hints on referendum for federal state

Malawi Government has 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.

The Government made the pronouncement following pressure from people of the northern part of the country who have been calling for a federal state or for the northern region to secede from the entire country and not to be part of the south and central regions.

In an interview Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said Malawi Government intends to embark on a national wide civic education tour on the question of federalism, and secession.

Nankhumwa (Left): Refrendum for federalism on the cards

Nankhumwa (Left): Refrendum for federalism on the cards

He said if need be the exercise will end into an open referendum on the two matters.

Said  Nankhumwa: “Government has no intention to stifle debate on either federalism or secession. We have noted that even those that are propagating for the system are falling short of understanding on how it works.

“So we will embark on a national wide civic education for Malawians to appreciate the pros and cons of the system, and if need be, government will call for a referendum on the matter.”

Following the debate, Malawi Government has been accused of moving to stifle debate on the matter.

Nankhumwa, however, said government cannot call for a referendum right away without proper sensitization of the masses saying that will be tantamount to subjecting Malawians into making a crucial decision on a matter they do not understand.

“The way the issue is being presented to Malawians at the moment, is as if it is for the northern region. Malawi is one, and all the regions will fully participate in every step of its deliberation. And it may happen that after this civic education exercise, Malawians may never want to further debate on this issue,” he said.

Malawi is having unprecedented campaign to adopt a federal system of government after most people from the north feel that they have been short changed in the way resources of the country are distributed among the three regions.

The calls are based on the premise that it is the only viable method of equitable access to the national resources.

Some sectors of the northern region are also demanding the de-linking of the region from the mother Malawi.

People from the northern part of the country have since formed a group calling itself ‘concerned citizens for the independence of the north’ which has embarked on a relentless campaign on the matter.

In Africa, federal system of government is practised in some countries including South Africa and Nigeria.

The term federalism is used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units such as states or provinces, while secession refers to an act of an area or group becoming independent from the country or the larger group that it belongs to.

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mbolo za gonja ndi Maliseche
mbolo za gonja ndi Maliseche

Let them stand on there own, osawakanilira, akudziwa kuti ali ndi zoziyenereza. konde kudzakhala deportation. Nde ndale zibebe Central and South


Its about North getting out of Malawi akhale dziko lawo. We dont want them to be part of Malawi. South and Center are better together. These Northernors wil keep wasting our time with their nepotic, backward perspectives. Its high time we start focusing on issues as a country and not tribes. That will only happen when we get rid of the North. Let them go back north. They do not deserve to be part of any country, but themselves.

Ghost commeter

Those calling for independence are doing so for their own interest, not for the interest of people their are claiming to represent.

Hazrat Pillane

The referendum should be done on regional level, I think each region should stand alone…kikik

Daniel Phiri
The main problem with this DPP Govt is that it wants to mask its mediocre performance by getting bogged down in useless debates. The person who started the whole secession debate is a disgruntled politician – there is no evidence that this is a grassroots movement by people from the Northern Region. If this was the case the Republic of Nyika would have been a reality long before now. The Govt should let people talk about secession, people need to let off steam. The quota system needs to be addressed by increasing University places, not simply by removing the current… Read more »

The call for Federalism or if this fails outright cessation is not a thing of Mzomera only. Are you hearing what is happing in parliament? Show me an MP from the north who won an election that is openly against Federalism? There is none. This is a grassroot issue. Alomwe muli m’maji.

chiradzulo s

That’s a real fair talk, osamangolakhula ngati analimata pachimwenye amati gecko, zachamba basi . We need to hear points not just talk coz ur mouth its open

mapwala ansumbu

kwende nayo


No! no! no! Mr Nankhumwa you have alot to be done in your office than paying attention to the tyreless trailer which acording to history every government tried to tow it smoothly but in the end slides into avery deep trench.The priority at this point in time is cashgate,those other calls latter on. They are introducing many stories because they want to run away from cashgate.Anabadwa ngati nkhumba .Nkhumba ungaimangirire chingwe sungayende nayo ngati mbuzi ,siyilondola njira olo utaikwapula,kuimangilira panjinga koma ndiye usamenye bampu ,umva bwino ngati ikupalasa njingayo ndi iyoyo.Ndiye inu aNankhumwa muziuzidwa zochita ndinkhumbazo.


pathako pako, inu simatenanti inu.


NkHumba mayi wako ndi wotate wako poberekanso iwenso nkhumba yopanda manu mkamwa !!

jasco. nyirenda

Tatopa ndi kota sisitimu .ife tikufuna kuyima patokha .referundum is for the north .if you join referundum it means you are accepting that development is not equally distributed.mpoto woye:¦

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