President Peter Mutharika has received a tribalism tag from a political science lecturer at the Chancellor College of the University of Malawi, Ernest Thindwa on the way he has been purging public servants.
Thindwa has said he feels the dismissals of officers are based on tribal lines.
“It’s normal for any new government to make some shake-ups, but if you critically look at these shake-ups, what you see is that people who are removed are mostly those from the north and central [regions] and they are replacing them with those from the south [a region where Mutharika comes from], particularly of the Lomwe tribe [Mutharika’s tribe],” Thindwa told Voice of America (VOA).
“And if you look at the [recall from] foreign service, the pattern is the same,” he added.
The Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Center for the Development of People (Cedep), asessed Mutharika’s first three months in office and highlighted nepotistic and ethnicity promotion in his public appointments fuelling calls for North Malawi secession.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, the organizations noted that 25 percent of positions in the Cabinet are held by those from the central and northern regions while 75 percent are from the south – like the president.
Mutharika has defended his Cabinet appointments, saying they are based on meritand said no one has been removed on political or ethnic grounds.
“In fact no single person has been fired, not one. They have simply been reassigned to pave way for investigations into Cashgate scandal,” Mutharika claimed.
The rights watchdogs said they have no doubt that the recent calls for federalism by some sections of the society have, amongst several other causes, been partly ignited or fuelled by the President’s “nepotistic” decisions on the cabinet and public appointments.
“One can only appreciate this by looking at the timing when such calls resurfaced. This calls for a serious reflection on the part of the President and the entire government.”
CHRR and CEDEP urged Mutharika to go beyond preaching the message of national unity in response to secession and federalism calls to examining the root cause behind such calls and exploring viable policy alternatives and best practices his government can implement as a post-100 days agenda to enhance equitable distribution of development across the country in the best interest of all Malawians.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :