That Malawians voted on regional lines on May 20 is no secret although it should be a cause for worry to all well-meaning patriots.
I believe as a country we should be moving forward in our democratic processes and choosing leaders should depend on what they offer to the masses and not the geographical location where they are coming from. It is simply counterproductive and retrogressive too.
That said, I expected President Peter Mutharika to rise above this and appoint ministers into his Cabinet based on their competencies and not where they come from. This is for the mere reason that this country belongs to all of us—13 million-plus Malawians— and not just one tribe or one region.
A Cabinet that has 13 ministers from the Southern Region, three from the Central Region (it has always been underrepresented in the DPP governments, for whatever reason, even when it gave votes to the late Bingu wa Mutharika in 2009) and four from the Northern Region is not an all-inclusive government that attempts to share the national cake equitably.
But the President raised our hopes when he said he will appoint not only MPs into his Cabinet but technocrats as well to move things forward.
Yet the last time I checked, technocrats do not just come from the Southern Region where the President comes from and got the most votes. They are also in wild abundance both in the Central and Northern regions.
DPP has always championed the quota system in this country even in the selection of students into national universities at the risk of heavy opposition from those who think university education should be offered to only those that merit it through good per-formance and not affirmative action.
You would, therefore, think that DPP and the President would be cham-pioning the same cause in the appoi-ntments of Cabinet and other plum government jobs. Regrettably, the opposite is true.
But, I repeat, this country belongs to all of us. We all pay taxes that the State imposes on us without discrimination. It is not just citizens from one region who pay more than those of other regions.
It would not be asking too much to say that this calls for equitable distribution of the national cake.
This might sound simple and perhaps other people, especially those that are benefitting from the status quo today, would not like to hear it for obvious reasons.
This is essentially because God seems to be Malawian as He loves and protects us from civil strife that has been a way of life for people from other parts of Africa such as the Sudan, Central Africa Republic, Somalia, the list is endless.
But students of civil strife know that it starts when one section of society feels that they are getting a raw deal from the way national affairs are being managed and they resort to taking the law into their hands and engage in unorthodox means to get social justice.
The danger is that by the time the social justice comes to an end, you would have no country to live in as it is normally in sorry ruins and its citizens physically and emotionally scarred to start all over again.
For years, no sane Malawian has engaged in destructive ideals or propagated such a method of getting social justice but it is not a warrant for presidents to clearly favour the tribe and the region they come from. It is a blatant abuse of the peaceful orientation of Malawians and taking them for granted.
My President is an international man and of international repute. I expected his thinking to be different, modern and forward looking.
He is clearly not and to say that I am disappointed is an understatement. As a taxpayer, I am livid to see this naked favouritism in a country which I belong to and love dearly.
Mr President, be fair in your dealings with Malawians. This country belongs to all of us.