North Malawi petition Mutharika on federal system: Call for referendum

President Peter Mutharika has been asked through a petition to him presented to Mzuzu City acting Chief Executive Officer, Victor Masina, who is expected to forward it to the Office of the President and Cabinet, to ensure a smooth process of national referendum to ask citizens whether to adopt or not the federal system of government.

Bina Shaba (right) presents the petition to Masina

Bina Shaba (right) presents the petition to Masina

One carrying placard during the federal system march

One carrying placard during the federal system march

The petition was presented after a peaceful demonstration in Mzuzu City on Friday which was organised Forum for the Advancement of Federal System and Rural Development in Malawi.

The organisers said they want to end what they believe as ‘high regionalism by most of the country’s Presidents who have been coming from the southern region.

The advocates for the federal system who include pressure groups from the north, Parliamentarians and development commentators also feel that federalism would bring development competition among the three regions, since the regions would be able to plan for the most needed developments in their areas unlike now when all the decisions are made by the central government.

President Mutharika mandated the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the issue before a decision could be made.

There has been shoddy progress so far.

Forum for Federal System in Malawi secretary general Harris Kanyeremuka warned their forum would “hold national vigils” shouldn’t there be nothing after the demonstrations.

The forum want change of unitary system to federal system of government and have since given Mutharika 40 days to address 15 issues highlighted in their petition.

“We want to tell you Mr. President that we are marching because we are tired of waiting for a response from you. We are also tired of a system of governance that has been slow to deliver for the past 51 years,” reads the petition signed by Bina Shaba, Kanyeremuka and Vailet Nyirenda, chairperson, secretary general and treasurer general for the forum respectively.

The protesters also noted that President Mutharika favoured federal system of government when he was consultant to the Special Constitutional Review Conference where he presented a paper.

The forum raised issues surrounding segregation and discrimination, road infrastructure in the North, status of Mzuzu City, education, and appointments in government and recognition of heroes from the North.

They also complained about poor road network in the region saying despite campaign promises to upgrade some of them like the Edingeni-Euthini-Mpherembe- Nyika-Nthalire-Chitipa road, nothing has been done.

They also queried why Mzuzu City gets a little budget of around K1 billion when other cities get as high as K2.2 billion as is the case in the 2015/2015 national budget.

Initially, the calls for government to adopt federalism started with few individuals from the country’s northern region in 2011, following a public outcry that the then president, late Bingu Wa Mutharika, brother to the current president, Peter, was oppressing the region in terms of development.

For instance, Mutharika imposed a quota system policy of selecting students to public colleges; rather, than on merit, after he noted that most learners from the north were dominating public universities through the Ministry of Education’s merit selection system.

Several quarters also accuse the incumbent President of supporting regionalism and nepotism by promoting people from his region and particularly his Lomwe tribe in public offices such as cabinet ministers, chief executives for parastatal institutions and other government departments.

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Kumanena chatsitsa dzaye kuti njobvu itchoke mnyanga!
There can be no smoke without fire!

Those who are opposing a federal system for Malawi should ask themselves why some parts of the country want a federal system, rather than just beating about the bush with signorant, obcene, tribalistic, and shallow arguments!

Mwana nyika in exile (south)
Mwana nyika in exile (south)
Kaka Kwakalazi # 48 you are very greedy. You better leave the useless northerners to accuse south not you the Gulewamkulu. Which region has ruled Malawi more years between south and center? What did you do in 30 years? Do you know that electricity you see in town were installed in 30 years ago? Why didn’t you electrify in the rural areas which you are talking about? This time south under APM is electrifying the rural areas. South is about to rule Malawi for only 25 years possibly by 2019. So wait until 2024 when you will start complaining. Not… Read more »

English language simbali yanga

Rodgers Banda

The govt need to educate the majority of brutes in Malawi about fedelism by opening universities since large South were achikumbe and never smelt school but went to kwacha schools. The way they comment is evident.


Atumbuka mumalephera kuyendetsa Nothern Region football league ndiye muyendetsa Chigawo bwanji? Chitukuko chinachilichonse chimayambira ku south and central chimamalizira ku Dead north. Muzingolowa mzipani zathuzi basi nanga atumbuka 100 mungayambitse chipani nkulowa m’boma?Tangowonanu demo yanuija anthu 46 ndiye nkumati mungadzalowe m’boma? Kudako kuipa khope ndi mtima omwe .

Louis Gobede Chunga

Ambwenu Mbwenu Inu Simuganiza Ayi Inu Mukanene Kuti Budget Sikufanana Ndi Zigawo Zina Ziwiri Za Malawi Zowona? How Many Of U Are There? For Instance Is It Posible For 8family Member Home To Use The Daily Basic Needs The Same As A 10 Member Family? Chikakhala Chitukuko Chikulepheleka Chifukwa Chokonda Kumanga Kwa Eni Kapena Kuti Mukapita Ku Ntchito Mmasamukilatu Kwanu, Ndipo Simukumbukakoso. Utsogoleri Wa Dziko Lino Mukulephera Chifukwa Chokulirana Mtima Ndi Kudzikonda Nokhanokha Kumeneko Ndimoyenda Mwatsakamilamu.

Umbuli Mmatenda

Pls can someone help me to correct this it 2+1,2-1,2*1or2/1 at school our teacher said federal Maths

Jones Sisya
Very unfortunately when it comes to issues concerned the regionalism. As the subject matter there is no need of insulting one another. But let us try to adopt that kind of government so that every region should progress. For sure we cannot say in Malawi there’s no regionalism. It is there, thats why when it comes presendential elections results it tells everything. Even look on quarter system, the budget, developments it’s the same story. Therefore, I don’t see why we shouldn’t Implement that. And this issue doesn’t need refredum, cause we have seen it bearing fruits in other countries. What… Read more »
Zanga pheee

Tsono inu atumbuka mukufuna chani?pitani kwanu mukatukuleko ife sitinakukanizeni anthu ozikonda inu mukufuna chani pa moyo office mumangolembana nokhanokha mukufunanso chani?

Phaghlani Vwavwa

You journalists, please stop portraying a few people as representing the whole north. Ironically, the north is the only region in Malawi where all people do not think and act as one. There is a lot more individualism in the north than the other two regions. So a few frustrated and noisy people in the north campaigning for federal system should not and must not be portrayed to be speaking for the whole north. Am from the north and I can tell you very few people in the north support this so called federal system of government.

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