Mutharika must demolish the wall of tribalism with action: One Malawi, one nation

People say African presidents love power too much that they don’t resign no matter what.In times of socio-political and economic crises, a typical African leader would rather have all people kill each other for him or her and burn every property down to ashes than resign from office even if that was viably the last solution to save lives and bring lasting peace and progress.

Mutharika spokes against tribalism at Mulhakho wa Alhomwe festival

Factually, that is true about African leaders. They love power more than their people. But I have an exceptional African President just a few miles away from home who had resigned from office just because his people and mostly his own government and party officials were practicing rampant tribalism. This president was Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia.

In the evening of 4th February 1968, President Kaunda surprised his top party and government officials when he resigned during the party’s Convention at Chilenje Welfare Hall in Lusaka. Unknown to the President, top party officials had been practicing tribalism which had led to the creation of several tribal camps in the party and government. The tribal camps were constantly fighting against each other. At the Convention, their fights erupted as they argued over equal tribal representation in the elections of officers into party committees and offices and in government appointments and the entire civil service.

President Kaunda was so shocked. The tribal camps and fights had been so concealed from his knowledge that he had no idea that he was leading a political party and nation that was so fragmented along tribal affiliations. He did not hesitate but resigned right there because, as a matter of personal principles, he would not lead a party and a nation that were fighting and divided among themselves just because of tribes.

After the President had resigned, the top party and government officials were very ashamed of themselves. Knowing what was at stake, they quickly mobilized religious leaders, army generals and commanders, relatives and friends of the President and anyone from any tribe with enough brainpower to help persuade Kaunda against his resignation. It was not easy, but after some time and enough talks, Kaunda withdrew his resignation. The government and party officials repented and from that time, they all embraced the idea and ideals of ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION.

Kaunda’s resignation came to my mind when I heard about the beautiful speech that President Mutharika gave on Sunday at the Mulhakho wa Alhomwe cultural festival. The President spoke against tribalism in favor of national unity.

But then I asked myself if President Mutharika really understands how the tentacles of tribalism have spread in this country right from his ruling DPP to the very core of government and the entire national politics. Or maybe, just like Kaunda, the real truth is concealed from him except for a few lies from his top party and government officials who perhaps wrote the very cosmetic speech he gave?

Under different circumstances, I could have joined praise-singers and worship that speech. But this is not the time because Malawi has reached a point where we don’t need speeches against tribalism but a decisive and very bold action against this evil, and the President is the one to take that action. I mean a historic action which could instantly evoke repentance of the evil doers and transform not only the DPP but their entire political system and landscape. Mutharika must stand up and refuse to be president of a tribally fragmented nation and act, not speak, on unifying the country.

As far as I am concerned, even the post-May 21 elections’ demonstrations and violence, and the public anger against Mutharika and the DPP administration stem from the arrogance of DPP and the institutionalized tribalism which has become the fabric of party and national politics – it is not about Jane Ansah but about a system that is perpetually rewarding a minority in a certain tribe and region while continuously punishing a collective majority in other tribes and regions. It’s about a system that deprives more than 60% of the population a chance to form government but allows less than 40% of the population to overrule majority vote and form government due to tribal numbers.

This must be fixed by allowing all Malawians despite their ethnic affiliations and regional background to feel co-ownership of this nation and co-manage its resources. Just like President Kaunda, Mutharika must make a decision that he shall be a President whose people will have to remember him as the leader who united them and inspired them to pursue the dream of ONE MALAWI ONE NATION.

Otherwise, he will be remembered as the president who watched his country burn and his people die just because he was too weak to demolish the wall of tribalism.

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winstonmsowoya
Guest
winstonmsowoya

I sencelly apologize for the mistake I have done on the top comment which,instead of writing if you eat fish you won’t fail your exams.

winstonmsowoya
Guest
winstonmsowoya

You fool,nobody steals the so-called MAYESO.Do not blame others for you own foolishness.If you eat fish,you won’t fail in class but,when you eat RATS,you will not fail your exams,and do not blame the Northerners,it is your foolishness for eating MBEWA as your FOOD Guile!!!!!!!!!!

ndine basi
Guest
ndine basi

APM HASTO GO.
WE SERVE A LIVING GOD WHO SEES THE PLIGHT OF MAJORITY MALAWIANS PERPETRATED BY APM. APM HAS

PLANTED SEED OF EVIL WHICH WILL BACKFIRE IN JESUS NAME. ALL NON-GOD FEARING MALAWIANS YOU ARE GONE- TRADITIONAL LEADERS; POLITICAL LEADERS; RELIGIOUSLEADERS, BLOCK LEADERS

FOR VERY SHORTLY THE GOD OF PEACE SHALL CRUSH YOUR HEAD UNDER MY FOOT IN JESUS ALMIGHTY NAME.

Mwene
Guest
Mwene

The article is to the point. However this is a president who can’t read the serious situation the country is in. Running this country is to huge a task for him. We all know he failed to run almost all ministries his late brother tried to assign him to. He is a failure unlike his late brother.

braveheart
Guest

Crap writting! How many years did kaunda stay in power?actually he was a dictator. From there the comparison is wrong! U say people R demonstrating koz of DPP tribalism not Ansah. Really? So u know the truth hey? So where is good faith? & u don’t care about that as long as it serve u,right?Thus hypocrisy. You have nothing to write.Go to hell! There’s no tribalism here but the group that used to practice tribalism in Malawi no longer have a chance.They were Xposed and now have wedged war against govt. Thus the bottom line. Mwabelabela mayeso / mwawuzikidwa mayeso… Read more »

Association of Marginalised Citizens
Guest
Association of Marginalised Citizens

APM cant resign. He knows very well that this survival lies in tribalism. He was planted and ferlitised by Lomwe tribe so he feeds and rides on it. So asking him to resign is non starter. It is like asking fish to come out of pond and live on land. A clever fish wont accept such request so wont APM. He is now digging his feet deep into the presidency by surrounding himself by tribal men and women. His removal from power will be sacrifice for so many. unfortunately. Already we have seen seen loss of property and lives which… Read more »

George
Guest
George

As for me the president may not be the rght person to talk about this topic he has done more than enough to show who he is. Let him stop it;

dalo
Guest
dalo

Mtambo more fire!! Munthu okonda dziko lake,pitilizani man palibe angakuombeleni inuyo akunama kwambiri.Kwangotsala nthawi yochepa yeliko kugwa.

dalo
Guest
dalo

Worse president ever!!!! Mau ndilibe koma munthu yemwe ndimalephela kumumvesta maganizidwe,ngakhale kuipako osaona mmene dziko lafka???? Zotsalatu izi……One day is one day chonde musaiwale.

FEDERALISM BELIEVER
Guest

Peter Hitler Mutharika is the godfather of tribalism. We thought we have moved away from tribalism but this murderer has entrenched it so deep and making sure his Lomwe tribe and the Southern region becomes the ruling people. We call all Malawians to stop this mad man who is already 80 years and who doesn’t give a damn about Malawians regardless where you come from. The only solution in Malawi is to introduce FEDERALISM where everybody will be equal and be proud to be called a Malawian. We rejected the one party rule and introduced multiparty system but we never… Read more »