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FEDERALISM DEBATE, Just In

HOW THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF MALAWI WOULD LOOK LIKE

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Ellen Moyo : “Let’s debate with facts and not fears of the unknown or speculations”

As a “sober” debate continues on the best ways to make leadership in Malawi more responsive to the needs of local Malawians spread across the entire country that ensures equitable distribution of developments and government attention, I took time to analyse the regional/ provincial state governments would look like and how Malawi stands to benefit from a Federal System of Government.

Please do not be misinformed, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM DOES NOT MEAN “KUGAWANA DZIKO” and IT IS NOT ABOUT THE NORTH ONLY. It has many benefits for Malawi in that:

1) Federation de-concentrates the power of the executive Central government and gives equal authority to provincial/ regional governments which are closer to the people in the particular provinces/ regions;

2) This gives the people more leverage to bargain with their state governments on the needs for their respective regions/ states;

3) It also gives the people a chance to interface more with their state government as to hold them accountable for their actions and promises;

4) The more de-concentrated government also allows the individual state officials to concentrate on the particular issues and challenges and potentials of the region/ province. For example, the Southern State Government might begin to concentrate on how best to boost banana, tea, coffee, cotton markets which would complement efforts for the Central state Government which might be concentrating on groundnuts, pulses, potatoes, and tobacco markets. Overall, this will accelerate diversification of national products for Malawi as a whole. Eastern and Northern State Governments may also be crucial in development of Tourism sector for the greater good of Malawi;

5) Moreover, the more decentralized system would allow for implementation of particular interventions and policies tailor-made for a particular province. For example, FISP application in the Central State Government would be a Universal programme because of the many farming families in the province than in the south. The South and east could apply a targeted program because not many families depend entirely on farming on a small-medium scale apart from only for subsistence. For some districts, FISP may transcend into assisting animal husbandry farmers rather than just targeting only food crops.

6) Politically, the Federal System of Government would ensure that the national government has representation of ideology from all regions of the country. It would also ensure that the agenda for the other smaller regions are considered and addressed. In current political environments, it may not be practicable that certain people will ever be voted in leadership regardless of their great abilities and willingness to assist Malawi. However, the more decentralised system, accords them an opportunity to prove their leadership abilities, and

7) Provincial/ Regional State Governments would give the nation an assessment platform for performing governors who would be elected for the Federal State Presidency position depending on performance. The Provincial State Government gives the citizen a measuring criteria for aspirants for the National Federal Presidency position. This also would help to sieve out time-wasters and incompetent contestants… and also transform the national elections to issue-based campaigns;

8) The federal system also would give space and chance to the small parties to contribute to the development of the country. It will also give chance to democracy by dissolving the cancer of this “Going-to-bed” with the Ruling Party as the State Elections may be healthily contested and assures competence in the leadership and a service-oriented leadership rather than patronage and sympathy…

I guess Malawi has come of age to debate these issues properly and soberly. Let us not twist facts and information to advance our lust for power.

The executive in Malawi has always been a bully to the other arms of Government.

It has been at the prerogative of one single office for government to make critical decisions. This is not healthy and dangerously undemocratic. We need more power to the people.

And we need more of a government of the people, by the people, for the people! This is the core objective of democracy… And it must not be left to chance/ to the goodwill of an incumbent, rather it should be institutionalized. That will only be achieved with FEDERALISM. I submit….
Kanthu ako.

Ellen Moyo : “Let’s debate with facts and not fears of the unknown or speculations”

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