The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has maintain its stand that it is federal system of government which can help to achieve equitable distribution of resources in the country.
MCP publicity secretary Dr Jessie Kabwila, whose party has officially stated it is for federalism, told Nyasa Times in a telephone interview on Friday tin reaction to a newspaper poll of legislators has shown that 61.5 percent of members of Parliament (MPs) would reject a bill if it were introduced in the National Assembly on whether or not Malawi should be a federal State.
Nation Publications Limited though its daily title, The Nation, reported on Friday that it conducted an opinion poll over a two-week period ending yesterday—sampled 122 of the 193 legislators through telephone, short message service (SMS) and electronic mail (e-mail).
The paper reported that of the respondents, 75 MPs (61.5 percent) said they would vote against federalism while (30) or 24.5 percent said they would support it and 17 (14 percent) were undecided.
By party representation, the survey reached 42 MPs from the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 15 from former president Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP), 30 from Malawi Congress Party (MCP), eight from United Democratic Front (UDF) and 27 independents.
Kabwila told Nyasa Times that her party feels vindicated that those who are “eating the tax payers money” are rejecting federalism.
She said: “MPs who are rejecting federalism are those from government who are enjoying the taxes of the cash-strapped Malawians.”
Kabwila continued: “Is there any news here? It is not surprising to see the United Democratic Front voting no to federalism because the party is enjoying the same bed with the ruling DPP. They are all enjoying the public purse.”
She said MCP is advocating for federalism because they want equitable distribution of resources.
“What is happening now is we have a so-called government which is run by the people from the South,” said Kabwira.
The MCP spokeswoman said there is an “urgent need for a much more robust approach to make people understand what federalism is and how it is different from what other people are saying, that will help a lot.”
President Peter Mutharika is on record as the first to publicly propose federalism and proportional representation in the country eight years ago during a National Constitutional Review Conference in Lilongwe.
Mutharika recently 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 October 6 in Blantyre.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :