Mutharika’s views on federalism in Malawi

State House wishes to unequivocally present His Excellency the State President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika’s position on federalism as follows.

President Mutharika has on more than one occasion said that he would not stop anyone from advocating for federalism because he believes in freedom of expression which is enshrined in our Republican Constitution. He also has emphasized that he would love to see a healthy debate on the calls for federalism.

President Mutharika
President Mutharika

According to the President, what is important is that the outcome of the whole debate should be what is in the best interest of Malawians.
In this regard, his emphasis is that those advocating for federalism should do so in an honest manner and without selfish ulterior motives which could lead to societal disintegration.

The President is of the view that it is up to Malawians to decide on what is in the best interest of our country or a particular region.
Our national interests are defined by a number of aspects such as economic interests, social interests, political interests and other aspects which define our national identity as Malawians.

During the 2006 Constitutional Review Conference President Mutharika, then, Professor of Law at Washington School of Law, was invited by the Law Commission to be one of the consultants and speakers at the National Review Conference.

It is worth noting that during the conference President Mutharika was only providing alternatives and suggestions as someone being consulted in a personal capacity to provide his scholarly views on proposals for reviewing the Republican Constitution.

As is the case at such conferences, views such as the ones presented by President Mutharika and everybody else were subject and open for debate and were not definitive, prescriptive or conclusive but were to be taken as mere suggestions that should be debated on.
In his presentation entitled Towards a More Manageable Constitution, President Mutharika proposed rotational presidency, federalism and proportional representation as three possible ways of addressing concerns about regional marginalization.

He tackled and reacted to various issues under the three main themes of the Conference namely:
(a) Make Good Governance the underlying purpose of the Malawi Constitution;
(b) Provide objective principles which do not target individuals or groups for reward or punishment; and
(c) Select the most appropriate areas for inclusion in the Constitution and also choose which ones should go to the Legislature.
Within the context of these discussions, President Mutharika reacted to various scenarios presented by Consultation Papers made available at the conference. The President’s views were not prescriptive. He was not advocating for Rotational Presidency, Proportional Representation or Federalism. The President made an expert scholarly presentation by simply outlining the various models available to Malawians, from which delegates to the constitutional conference could make informed decisions.

In his presentation, the President proposed that the three regions could be abolished because they were created just for colonial administrators’ convenience but they are not of geographical importance.
President Mutharika’s suggestion was that once the three regional administrative districts are abolished then the district could be created as the basic administrative unit.

However, Malawi embraced decentralization as a model of fast-tracking local governance and local development, and it is the President’s belief that essentially this must provide more decision power to people.

Therefore, it is the President’s wish that as the nation is debating federalism, we should also deeply consider the gains that this nation can make if we collectively choose to strengthen the decentralization process.

The President remains committed to a healthy debate on the issue of federalism and allowing Malawians to decide on the matter.
However, the President will do this within the context and against the background of an oath that he took to protect the laws and the Constitution of the country.

The President has got a constitutional mandate to uphold and safeguard our national sovereignty which is critical to our national unity.

His presentation at the 2006 conference is consistent with the President’s current position which calls for stakeholders to debate the issues of Federalism freely and honestly.

Frederick Ndala
Presidential Press Secretary
Kamuzu Palace

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United Party
United Party
6 years ago

The statement from the State House is trying to disown APM views on the topic. Unless you are not principled, you can’t present an idea you do not believe in. I believe APM sincerely meant what he said that time. You cannot propose a course of action that you know will not bring the results unless you are not wishing the country well. As they say power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, now that APM is president, he cannot stomach the idea of his powers being diluted hence all these attempts to twist the facts.

6 years ago

Fredrick Ndala why are u trying to twist the opinion of the professor r u trying 2b month intelligent or u r 2 in subordinate to oppose the proposal of our dear professor moya Peter Munthalika let him implement what he proposed thus feudalism

6 years ago

Ido support Federation people,these people are too much peaceful.Had it been are violent pple they would rather make their own Government without asking our mind hear in Sourth part.So if our brother leader contradicts him self he’s just wasting his time.

6 years ago

MBC TV just proved and showed us how ignorant,dumb and dull the Sheilkhs who represent the majority of Achawa are.With such mentality, mutundu wachichawa uzingokhala wosoka and mending zigamba basi.

6 years ago

That’s what many quarters refer to as ‘being caught with pants down’. You thought, reasoned, wrote and presented to the public your views which were not only scholarly but dreams in colour, yet you forgot. Others have remembered and resurrected your ideas with all the good intentions. The reasons behind that proposal are still here today and have not changed, And the solutions, you already outlined in your presentation. That brilliant the learned lawyer has now turned president. Implement your thoughts like the Ngwazi did with his Gwero dreams. You too had dreams and aspirations to implement before you became… Read more »

Eddy Banda(President of Congress of Nyika People--CONP)

Peter Hitler Mutharika is a truly dictator that only cares about the Southern region and his Mulhako people. This constitution which he is upholding—-it is a constitution which Nyika people don’t recognize because it is oppressive. This unitary Southern Region tribalist constitution that he has sworn to uphold and commit genocide on Nyika people once they oppose it—will be challenged until Nyika become a republic. Nyika people are ready to die for their motherland, Nyikaland, and we will never back down and continue to see our children suffer under the quota system that discriminate them from the doors of education.… Read more »

6 years ago

@ dadaboma, True saying! How can he say that it was just a proposal. Total contradiction. Let us define what is proposal and advocate mean? Does the president and his cohorts know what they are saying? Do you propose something that you don’t support it? Kodi ankawayesa anthu chani? He has been in America for his life and knows the good part of federal system. From his writing he never talked the shortfalls of it. Mr Ndala it is true he cannot be an advocate neither propose because now he is the cause of all this marginalization. Making people to… Read more »

6 years ago

Atumbuka inu mukuumirira mtunda opanda madzi bwanji, Inunso ndi anthu amodzi wozikonda m’mafuna zinthu zonse zikhale zanu ndiponso mulembedwa ntchito pa kampani m’mafuna kuti mukhalepo akumpoto nokha, ifetu timakudziwa inu kuti ndi wozikonda.

6 years ago

The president must be decisive and never hide under the mask of using illiterate persons for propaganda in trashing his own federal suggestion on mbc tv. This conduct of favouring the anti-federalist on the public broadcast must stop. Such propaganda is creating more hatred against the tumbukas and damage to unity in the country.

King salijen
King salijen
6 years ago

Chimaliziro chafika.

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