MP Nyalonje backs federalism: ‘Absence of war doesn’t mean Malawians at peace with one another’
Mzimba North Constituency legislator Agnes Nyalonje (People’s Party-PP) on Thursday spoke vigorously in Parliament to back calls for federalism system as opposition lawmakers expressed feelings that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government values the development of some districts and regions more than others.
Rumphi East MP, Kamlepo Kalua moved a motion on the Matter of Urgent Public Importance under Standing Order 14 for the house to discuss a matter of federal system of government.
And in her contribution, Nyalonje one of the few constistent legislators who displays her wits in her parliamentary contributions of susbstance, observed that regionalism, nepotism and tribalism are “common human failings” not just to Malawi but to many countries in the world and these have led to wars in such countries.
“The absence of war in Malawi does not mean that we the people are at peace with one another. This very discussion this afternnon is testament that we are not at peace with one another. As a result of this discussion, some feel threatened and some hopeful.”
Nyalonje said federal system has more potential to unite us as Malawians.
“Those countries that have effectively adopted a system of federal government can testify to the fact that it has more potential in addressing division between people, division that come as a result of tribalism, division that come as result of regionalism and nepotism,” she said.
Nyalonje said Malawi has, through decentralization, already adopted a system closer to federalism hence the need to make the system formal.
“If I go to Mzimba today it is not a setret that many people feel that the government does not listen to them,” she said.
Nyalonje said in that situation what people want is a “government that is closer to them” and federalism “tends to be closer to the people.”
She, however, said the country has not fully decentralised as the government has not achieved the minimum five percent of the national resources to local government.
Nyalonje said decentralisation is a step closer to federalism and that the country should get federal system in full circle.
“What we need to do is to look at why are we failing to go all the way and what are the benefits of going all the way.
“We cannot afford to ignore the voices that say they want equitable development,” said Nyalonje.
But Machinga North East MP who is also Minister of Health, Atupele Muluzi said government is ensuring that Malawians across the country are offered the necessary and required resources.
Muluzi said there is a shift in decision making from central government to the local councils citing the issue of district hospitals which are at the moment being managed by district councils.
However, he said the challenge is on accountability of the councils.
“We are moving towards having resources fully decentralized. It is for this reason that we demand accountability of the local councils in the management of the resources,” he said.
In the motion, Kalua advocated for a federal system to ensure equity in all areas across the country.
“In a federal system resources can be channeled in a proper way and can benefit all the people regardless of their tribe or region. For example, if there is a federal system in place, resources in the national budget will be shared equally and Malawi will develop,” he said.
He said the house needed to discuss the motion for the sake of the future generation as he observed that the current system leaves some discriminated because they belong to a certain tribe saying there is too much nepotism and regionalism which leaves certain areas underdeveloped or not developed at all.
Dowa East MP, Richard Chimwendo Banda (Malawi Congress Party -MCP) supported the motion saying the call for a federal system of government comes because of discrimination that is there in distribution of resources.
“Malawi should have the spirit of equal distribution of resources. If there was that equity there wouldn’t be call for federation,” he observed.
He said most constituencies have something to point at because of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Chimwendo said communities cry for basic things like potable water because they do not have access to the same while others have three boreholes in a single village which would be avoided in a federal system.
Other Mps who supported the motion were Dedza East MP Juliana Lunguzi (MCP) and Karonga Central MP Frank Mwenifumbo (Aford).
Debate on the need for Malawi to adopt a federal system of government was revived after the May 20 Tripartite Elections whose voting pattern showed that people still vote for leaders, notably the President, based on tribal or ethnic considerations.
Some people have argued that for even or fair spread of development, the country needed to have federal States to facilitate the same.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
Foolish politicians always find a way to divide and rule and this is why it easy for those with empty heads to stoke rebellion by dividing people on tribal and regional lines and sometimes through religion. It is even a bigger tragedy to elevate one tribe as superior to others or one region to be superior than the other through allocation of resources and development projects. This is what causing major challenges in Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa etc. Civil wars are just inches away due to foolishness of politicians who flourish on divide and rule. Malawi should never… Read more »
Kenya is has registered some good development because of federal system of government. Those opposing this system of government are selfish and greedy.
PMFD was the first political organization in exile cried for FEDERALISM after seeing Bingu The Killer Wa Mutharika was unleashing terror on the Northerners. He slaughtered our brothers and sisters in Mzuzu like dogs. Malawi has three provinces and not more than that. Peter Hitler Mutharika wants to add more provinces to benefit his Southern region people by looting other provinces. Northern region will remain as one province undivided by our OPPRESSORS in the Southern region. We the sons and daughters of our motherland, Republic of Nyikaland will fight to the last drop of our blood. We are tired of… Read more »
And MCP is backing this nonsense!
Even in a federation, national funds will NOT be shared equally, never. They will be shared proportionally, based on population of the entity, like the district.
Federations will only get those in power closer to the money, so they can steal it; even easier than now. Federation or not, we all need to get rid of corruption, and the mentality of some acceptance of it. This is a long haul project.
Even in a Federation, some districts will complain of others being favored!
PP MPs trying to get attention ,Kamlepo then Nyalonje.Mwatowona kale kuti PP chao palibe ndie mwati Anthu azakuvoterani chifukwa cha Federation? Let’s face it after Kamuzu we have had Visionless leaders coupled with an Ignorant Population who think Multiparty means voting for President wa Mtundu wanu.Anthu kuyesera kunena kuti uyuyu uyu ndi wa kubar.Koma hii ati wakubar yemweyo poti ndi wamtundu wanga.Vuto lathu ndi Umbuli osati Federation.
Good l propose the following:
Every one should work in his region
Employment in civil service should be done by councils and each council should employ people from the district where the council is
Capital hill should cease to exist instead we should have regional offices
This should even affect NGOs
Before that we demand census in civil service to know which region is dominating and why
This woman Agnes is useless. She is not doing any development in our area. The roads are not good. We enjoyed development when Dad Goodal Gondwe was a member of parliament even Inkosi Mtwalo knows it. What she is talking is rubbish . You are not going to win any seat, stay there is Zomba. By the way are you going to move from Zomba when Federalism takes place. Most of us we have settled in the Southern region including Kalua himself. Think before you speak. This is the reason young men like Kalua cannot be trusted to rule the… Read more »
It puzzles me when people think the Southern region has had the lion’s share of the national cake since independence but the reality on the ground is quite contrary. Lilongwe and the rest of central and northern regions were all bush before 1964 but big cities and towns have developed surpassing those in the South but they still think that’s not enough. While Zomba, Balaka, Thyolo, Nsanje and Mulanje once pre-independence big towns have stagnated, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Kasungu, Kalonga, Salima and Dedza are registering tremendous growth even during the last 24 years the southerners have ruled the country. Zayamba kundidabwitsa… Read more »
Some of the mentioned towns are developing because of the efforts of the private sector as well efforts of the local people in the towns concerned. Such developments are being implemented without government funding. Balaka and Nsanje have indeed stagnated. It started with the privatisation of the Malawi Railways Ltd. Thyolo is changing. Recently, it opened its doors to a new college after the Science and Technology University at Ndata. A multbillion dollar stadium for Thyolo is in the pipeline. Mulanje has stagnated but is to blame because Chitakale is slowly but gradually swallowing development activities that are turning it… Read more »
This is the only way to go. Let all the thieves in the likes of Ben Phiri, Nankhumwa ,Chaponda among others rule their own people.Public appointments are going to the people from Lhomwe belt,this is so unfair. The quota system should be abolished
federalism won’t solve tribalism and regionalism problem. It won’t solve quota system either. We should just abolish tribalism and regionalism and we have to come up with smart ways of ridding Malawi of regionalism, tribalism and looking at Malawians on religious lines.