North Malawi pressure group touts federalism

A pressure group has been formed in Mzimba led by Dr Bina Shaba to campaign for federal system of government in Malawi.

Shaba  said the unitary type of government where the executive powers rests in the President has frustrated the northerners and it is time to consider change.

He said the federal type of government will allow self rule, determination, self esteem, reliance and equitable sharing of resources to ensure balance of development between the three regions.

“All what we want is federal type of government which will promote equitable usage of resources thereby enhancing development,” said Shaba.

Chihana: Federal system is now needed in Malawi
Chihana: Federal system is now needed in Malawi

Shaba said all along, the northern region have not benefited from the National cake which resulted into region being underdeveloped in most of the areas as compared to the rest.

He said the Malawi system of development do not favour the north as the government always attach an element of population in allocating infrastructure and other development, which has seen the north being underdeveloped and that is why it is called ‘dead north’ because no one has made an effort to develop it.

“The northern region has also been discriminated in terms of appointees in key government positions such as in Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC), Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and many other important positions over the 50 years of independence,” Shaba  said

The Chairperson said among others, the federal system will enhance transparency and accountability of resources and reduce regionalism and nepotism in the country.

Also commenting on the same, secretary for the group, Patrick Mwale said it is worrisome to note that the north do not have an international airport which can help boost the tourism economy in the country.

“The north has good tourism centres such as Nyika National park, Vwaza marsh game reserve amongst others which if promoted can contribute to the economy of our country but sadly they are not. So our ultimate goal is to achieve establishment of federal system of government in Malawi,” said Mwale.

He further said they will engage into dialogue with the government through the local government such as the councillors to achieve the agenda.

Mwale said they have so far started mobilizing the people from grassroots and they are in full support.

However, some quarters of the society who did not want to be mentioned are quashing the idea saying it will bring division as well as confusion in the country.

The move was first drummed up by  former activists and now DPP operative, Ben Chiza Mkandawire, who argued that a federal system of government would be ideal for Malawi to free the country from constitutional impunity.

Mkandawire said the federal system will also ensure that all regions enjoy equitable development.

He said Federalism is only calling for regional autonomy.

Recently , Aford sole lawmaker Enock Chihana backed the calls for federalism and  argued that Malawi political system has to change to suit the prevailing environment.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) lawmaker Alekeni Menyani also  backed calls to adopt a federal system of government in Malawi.

President Peter Mutharika has since  urged political and religious leaders to give dialogue and reconciliation a chance, instead of dividing the country.

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