Ntata’s Uncommon Sense: Would you rather be a Lhomwe than a Malawian?

The prognosis of our country’s governance and economic development is ominous. With rampant corruption led from the state house itself as the President fails to explain convincingly how a very dirty MK145 million that eventually had to be returned to its giver ended up in his account, public integrity has been severely compromised.

Mutharika shakes hands with Mulhako wa Alhomwe members 

The energy situationis on the receiving end of some brutal hammer-blows and the prices of both electricity and fuel have gone up. The Malawian air is rancid with talk of tribalism and regionalism, with campaigners blatantly making regionalist statements such as “here in the south, we must vote for Peter Mutharika because he is our private part!”. One would think that in the face of such adversity, the well meaning Malawian patriot would look to unite the country and ensure that every one speaks with one voice and that all and sundry are focused unwaveringly on the goal of preserving the proverbial health of a nation almost on its deathbed.

Yet it does not come as an astounding surprise that instead of emphasizing the things that bind us together and make us all Malawians, our president is advocating, indeed accentuating the very separationist ideas that have continued persistently to be an ugly blot on the Malawian social landscape and resulted in hap-hazard regional-centric development.

Peter, Oh Peter! When will you ever learn?

Instead of thoughtlessly applauding and encouraging this president who thinks Being a Lhomwe is more important than being a Malawian, shouldn’t sober-minded Malawians be questioning the wisdom of the president using state resources and the time he should be spending on solving the problems of the country to gracing that very tribalistic annual MulakhowaAlhomwe event that is coming up in Thyolo?

While there is nothing wrong in being proud in one’s heritage, I contend that given the history of our country regarding tribal groupings, encouraging and promoting the formation of cultural groupings is simply fanning the destructive fires of tribalism. In any given administration in government, a lot of fully deserving Malawians have suffered because of belonging to the “wrong” tribal grouping, while, to the detriment of the nation, favours and sometimes even highly questionable administrative lenience have been bestowed on undeserving and downright despicable individuals because they belonged to the “right” tribal grouping.

During the MCP regime, there were many unconscionable activities carried out by government or government cliques, from the quota system to patronage and nepotistic scholarship award schemes. They were done either as a quest of the ruling potentate to consolidate power, or as a reaction by certain minorities to a feeling of being disenfranchised and marginalised. There were policy decisions made against the Tumbukas or against the Yaos and there were policy decisions made in favour of Chewas. There were administrative decisions made in favour of Senas and there were affirmative action manoeuvres made in favour of Tumbukas. Because of the silence forcibly imposed onMalawians in that dictatorial regime, all these matters were rolled under the carpet and the country’s disunited fabric was only revealed when multiparty elections arrived.

During the Muluzi and the late Bingu wa Mutharika administrations, there were allegations of development efforts being concentrated in the southern region, particularly in the Mangochi-Machinga belt, and the Thyolo-Mulanje belt respectively. There were allegations, and sometimes evidence of preferential treatment being given to Yaos in the Muluzi administration, and to Lomwes in the Mutharika administration.

Indeed, it was during the late Bingu wa Mutharika Administration that, having seen how advantageous things were turning out for those that belonged to certain tribal groupings, other tribes decided to form their own groupings and pull their own muscle to establish themselves. Suddenly talk of cultural heritage preservation was in the air and days were set aside to commemorate them. Suddenly, it was important to be known, not just as a Malawian, but also as belonging to a certain tribe- Lomwe, Ngoni, Tumbuka as the case may be.

I submit without equivocations here that the idea of having tribal groupings ostensibly celebrating their cultural heritage when in fact they are promoting a separationist agenda of patronage and nepotism is dangerous and against the spirit of unity that our country needs in order to move forward at a time when we are faced with formidable foes.

 

Cultural groupings do not need presidential approval and encouragement. All cultural groupings need to be banned and outlawed. I say it again- tribal groupings are corrupt, dreadful and retrogressive and must be forbidden and prohibited, not promoted and presidentially patronised!

 

Although it is indeed important to preserve our diverse cultural heritage, this is a task that should be undertaken by the government in a way that will ensure that it is neither divisivenor disruptive. This is the very reason why the government has a full department dedicated to the preservation of our cultural heritage. In fact, it should not only be the cultural heritage of the major tribes that is preserved, but that of the relatively minor tribes as well. Nonetheless, the current method for preserving the so called tribal cultural heritage which allows these tribes to create their own national cliques which soon end up having a political and social-economic agenda is treacherous.It will soon usher into our national fabric a cancerous disunity whose malignance will surely metastasize and turn the country into a nation of single entities without a sum of its parts. Furthermore and rather suspiciouslyit is people from the cities and urban areas that start agitating for these groupings and only intend to use it as a platform to advance their agendas andoften have little or nothing to connect them with their village folk. The argument that the groupings assist the villagers is therefore insidious. We must bear in mind that the genocide in Rwanda was born out of such tribalistic sentiments.

That Presidents (Yes, all Malawian Presidents so far, without exception!) can subscribe and promote this devilishly acrimonious and abhorrent practice that is taking its offensive root in our country is as regrettable as it is clearly demonstrative of the lack of national vision in our country’s leaders.

In the face of serious national problems, we need serious leaders who will focus single-mindedly on consolidating the unity that will fortify the country against its enemies both foreign and domestic. Tribal groupings such as MulakhowaAlomwe do not do that; and when our leaders go to these events and prance around like they are doing something remarkably fantastic, I observe in horror and I weep.

This country’s enemies are hunger, disease and envy. They are corruption and lack of public accountability, and a spirit of looting state resources with impunity. This country’s real enemies are greed, economic inequity and abject poverty.

But, fellow Malawians, the first enemy that we must conquer comprehensively is disunity. My fellow Malawians, united we stand, divided we fall.

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Kassan Kaselema
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Kassan Kaselema

everybody is identified with the culture s/he belong to. did you expect the president to stop being lhomwe simply because of being president?
that mindset can only sell Malawi at a cheap price.
Please think of the future before writing everything.
Colonised mindset… Your wish is to see Malawi lost its identity. Do you really understand why the whites first teaches us their education before imposing their ideologies?
Where are you living now?
it seems you have lost direction or you are writing to appease someone.
Mr ntata, we expect sound reasoning from you. be exemplary please.
SIMUTIGULISA INU?

tizanka
Guest
tizanka

Nyasatimes is Complicit in the current promotion of hate towards Lhomwes. But allowing washed up low IQ individuals like Ntata to spew his hate for Lhomwes here. Lhomwes survived Thangata, Colonialists taking our land and being killed in droves by Ngonis and we will also survive the latest attempts of instigating tribal cleansing like you are promoting. This will only galvanise us and bring us together because we now know what is at stake.

Keen observer
Guest
Keen observer

Kamuzu analimbikitsa unity thru kuti tonse ndife Amalawi osati izi zolimbikitsa kusalana mitunduzi sizingatithandize ayi.

psyuta
Guest
psyuta

KKKKKKK 1111 Ntataaa !!! Another failure in lffe

Tabenetabene
Guest
Tabenetabene

Tell us your success Psyuta. Mutu ngati chikomboli

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

Malawi has lost its way, the people have lost their way and so has the head of state. No one is listening or takes the president seriously amongst the DPP ranks. He was without doubt against politics of castigation and character assassination and we have Mulli castigating Chilima in front of the president. Should we really assume that he is in control? If a head of state is encouraging tribalism in favour of Lhomwes, it means that once we have MCP or UTM in power, the Lhomwes will be abandoned and sidelined and even prosecuted. The Lhomwes should be careful… Read more »

pathfinder
Guest
pathfinder

DzukaniAmalawi you are starting to annoy me. what’s Muli and the likes, castigating other political parties in front of the president got to do with tribalism? Dude you can say whatever you want, yes lhomwes came from Mozambique, which is in Africa by the way. Now can you tell me one tribe that is originated in Malawi other than Akafula? Ngonis came from Zaire, and if you don’t know who those ngonis are then start with Tumbukas in that way you’ll finish the whole northern region, and you’ll come also to the central where they are in their large number… Read more »

Comrade
Guest
Comrade

Pathfinder, did the Ngonis came from Zaire or South Africa, Histrory Aphunzitsi mwaiiwalatu pamenepa.

pathfinder
Guest
pathfinder

kkkkkkk iiiii ada comrade sindingaiwale ada, kafufuzenso. Anachokera ku zaire ndipo anafalikira malo angapo muno mu africa kuphatikizilapo ku south africa, ndipo kuchokera ku south africa kubwera mu zimbabwe ku bulawayo omwe amawatcha ma ndebele,kudzafika ku malawi anabweretsa mtunduwu ndi shaka zulu, mtundu wa chingoni ndi obvuta kwabaasi wamipeni, zikwanje malegeni monga uonera chilima muja, nchifukwa chake sindikudabwapo atumbuka akamachita chisokonezo. Angoni atafika anafuna kumalimbana ndi alhomwefe ndipo tinawakantha osati masewera, tinawaphikira kalongonda, anabwera ndi mikondo yawo, tinakhala ngati tikuthawa tikudziwa kuti kalongonda, makolo athu amati ngalingonda kuti sanasuluke kapena kuti kupsa. Pokhala kuti angoni ndi osusuka, tinadziwa kuti abwira… Read more »

Napoleon Muza
Guest

Ntata why did you not ask the same question to Bingu when you served him? You’re are one of the disgruntled people who cannot respect president because he did not consider you like his brother. Don’t tell us rubbish now when during your term in office you could not ask your boss, you even attended the meetings and enjoyed. There is nothing to celebrate cultural heritage. Chewas has never stopped enjoying Gule Wamkulu, Ngonis do celebrate even before you were born, Yao too, all cultures do. We even grew up reading better books Kukula ndi Mwambo, Kalenga ndi mzache, Atabwali… Read more »

Nick
Guest
Nick

Well said, Alan! Unity is strength. Divisions destroy.
We are faced with the same problem in UK with our poisonous debate over Brexit!

Bristol
Guest

Nice piece. There is no big problem of celebrating Cultural Groups once a year but the problem arises when the Incumbent president is made the patron of his tribal grouping because it comprises his office that he is a father and leader of every tribal grouping.

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