The longtime clichéd saying which goes ‘Tumbukas love each’ “ATumbuka amakondana okhaokha” has opened a floor of debate that led to my conclusion ‘Nepotism, Tribalism in Malawi started with Tumbukas.’
My mind has been forced to dig into history of Nepotism in Malawi after I read a lot of critics’ works in newspaper accusing the ruling government, Democratic progressive party (DPP) of favouring Lhomwes by giving them senior positions.
So what is the problem? I ask every time when I come across such negativity even though am not Lhomwe.
Sorry for describing it as negativity, is just that I have already reached the conclusion which have given me a vivid picture to understand that only those who do not know the history of Malawi can find it controversial.
Do you know why, the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda (first president of Republic of Malawi) made a serious decree once in his ruling that every teacher should go to teach to their districts of origin?
Well, it was in 1989, when Banda announced at a political rally that some teachers teaching away from their districts of origin were not dedicating themselves fully. And some teachers were harsh. He then decreed with immediate effect, teachers who were teaching away from their home districts should relocate to their home districts.
Teachers from the northern region of Malawi were the most affected as thousands of them had been teaching in the central and southern regions, and were forced to return to the northern region. It seems they were target.
In the same year, quota system in education system was introduced as the number of people from north attaining the tertiary education at public Universities in Malawi which raised eye brows.
Here were teachers from north, failing to teach pupils and students in south and central, at the end claiming that their children are born intelligent as they used to spoon-feed them.
This again remind me another saying which used to be sang as “ ATumbuka ndi anzeru” and that I remember nursed a spirit of laziness in me, it was ok to be beaten by Tumbukas in class, and I think I was not only one.
But when I started working hard I narrowly saw Tumbukas in front of me, I until I saw no one up to my secondary school. Then I realized that they were not born intelligent at all.
I then knew that Kamuzu would have sensed something thing fishy in education system that was why he introduced that quota system. Kamuzu was leader who used to see no margin in tribes, he saw Malawi as one but he found Tumbuakas very problematic by giving their fellow relatives and friends the chances by attaining high education in the expense of other tribes.
Kamuzu did not enjoy that song “ATumbuka ndi anzeru” and which he thought it would not be singing in developing the country.
I think now you can tell, a person who failed to conduct his/her signed duties properly because people served were not from their home districts would even not employ them.
Unfortunately, this national unity and harmony did not last longer as democracy came in which was not well understood President Bakili Muluzi ( First President after multiparty system of government), to him every policy rooted in one party system era was aborted, including those which were good.
However, Bingu wa Mutharika (president after Muluzi) re-introduced quota system in 2009 where the uncomprehensive noise from north was heard again, which followed by several debates criticizing it.
When tables turn on them the noise is everywhere but when other tribes used to suffer it was ok.
Today Malawi has adopted this spirit from north, the companies are full of related employees and friends, and it is ok.
(Let’s fight tribalism, regionalism and Nepotism for better Malawi, we are all Malawians, we are one)