Vocal lawmakers from the northern region have demanded that the calls for federal system of government and power-sharing should be decided upon through a referendum.
Kamlepo Kalua, MP for Rumphi east and Karonga Central MP Frank Mwenefumbo noted in Parliament that the current political scenario is passing through extreme fluid conditions due to widespread calls for federism.
The two lawmakers pointed out that the northern region, where others are also calling for north to be a standalone country, is underdeveloped due to segregation.
“You can only fight an idea with a counter idea and not with a weapon. People of the north will not be intimidated by anything or anyone in fighting for federation,” said Mwenefumbo.
Kalua said federalism movement is unstoppable now.
He said like the wind of multiparty democracy, federism will be blowing unless resources are distributed equally.
“There is too much sectionalism. And when people today are calling for a federal government it’s because of such treatment that people of the north have faced in the past and they are still facing today,” said Kalua.
Despite protest from some MP that calls for federalism would bring disorder in the National Assembly, Speaker of the parliament Richard Msowoya, said: “This is a speaking house. This is a debating chamber. Members you are given an opportunity to say what you feel like saying”
He said members were airing what is coming from the people they are representing.
“Don’t be individualistic when you stand on point of order. Don’t be individualistic when you make presentation. You must talk openly and this is the house where you can say what you want to say and members will be given an opportunity to also counter you in anyway. This is not the house of threats, this is the house where members are debating national issues,” he clarified.
Among those petitioning for the North Malawi to be a standalone state or federal system of government is People’s Party (PP) provincial chairperson Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira.
He has accused government of “blatant scaremongering” and using misleading statements to chiefs to campaign against North to become a standalone entity like South Sudan.
Presidential adviser Symon Vuwa Kaunda has been meeting chiefs in the north in what he says are “consultations” on federalism and secession debate.
Kaunda said he is on a mission delegated by President Peter Mutharika to persuade the chiefs – with monetary gratification of course – to speak against the federalism.
But Ngwira said the north’s destiny is with the people in the region and not “selfish leaders” who he said are “getting positions and millions of taxpayers’ kwacha” in countering the emerging calls for federalism and secession.
Ngwira stressed that it is well documented that the North has long been sidelined, deceived and taken for a ride.”
Ngwira said all the chiefs who have spoken against North Malawi independence are saying so under the influence of “money being distributed.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :