Malawi Member of Parliaments were on Thurday sharply divided on tribal and regional lines as a fierce debate raged on whether the country should embrace federation system of government or not.
The motion was introduced in the 193 strong House by outspoken Rumphi east MP Kamlepo Kalua ( Peoples Party).
The motion had the backing of almost all the opposition and independent members of parliament from the north and south while the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) MPs fiercely and emotionally rejected it.
Thyolo Thava MP Mary Navicha said President Peter Mutharika and his DPP led administration have spread development projects in all the districts in the country.
“Federation cannot work in Malawi, we should all work together to develop the country despite of our differing political affiliation,” she said.
Dedza east MP Juliana Lunguzi said the sytem would not only increase ordinary people’s participation but would as well put to an end the culture of hand-clapping and god worshiping head of state.
“With federation, people will not be under captivity.
People will not be told to clap hands or dance for the president to get developent projects, we should not be clapping hands to someone to get development, this is our money,” she said.
Karonga central MP Frank Mwenifumbo said the centralised system of government has become redundant.
“Issues of corruption, nepotism, favouritism, cronyism, tribalism and regionalism can only end if we have the federation,” he said.
He said proponents of the federation should not be seen as attacking the current leadership.
Zomba Chisi MP Mark Botomani said there is equitable distribution of development activities across the country, saying the issue of nepotism is not there describing it as mere perception.
But Lilongwe Msozi South MP Vitus Dzoole Mwale said nepotism in the DPP led government has reached high levels saying the Chief Secretary is a Lhomwe, chief executive officers of Admarc, NFRA, MBC and other key parastatals are all from Lhomwe belt.
Former vice president Khumbo Kachali said federation is the only way to leap forward the country’s development.
Health minister Atupele Muluzi said the decentralisation which the government has embarked on is the best way of giving power to the people as well as spread development at a very corner of the country.