Malawi opens debate on secession, following controversial presidential election


Following the controversial May 20, 2014 presidential election, Mr Peter Mutharika’s administration has bowed down to pressure to either split the country or change the system of government.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party is calling for Malawi to adopt the federal system of governing the country in which each region will have its own administrative power and report to the central government, however, some groups especially from the northern part of the country are calling for secession.

Malawi has four administrative regions namely south, eastern, central and northern region.

Proponents of the federal system of government claim it will help the country to equitably develop as well as fight tribalism and nepotism which they claim have characterised the central government while the proponents of secession say the northern region has been on the sidelines for years.

Member of Parliament for former President Joyce Banda’s party, the Peoples Party, Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira is leading the northern region in proposing secession claiming that the northern region has been sidelined in the sharing of the national cake.


Minister of Information and Civic Education Mr Kondwani Nankhumwa said the government has taken over the initiative of informing Malawians on the federal system of government, the benefits and the implications at the same time explaining to the people what secession means. “We have noted that even the people that are advocating for federalism or secession they do not seem to understand what they are talking about.

“How could you explain the situation that even before Malawians have discussed these matters already some groups are forming cabinets in their regions,” he said.

Mr Nankhumwa said there were a number of credible organizations that the government will contract to take the matter to Malawians to understand the implications of the two systems.

Ironically, the founding father of Malawi Congress Party Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who is also the first president of Malawi condemned federal system of government that existed in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe under the British colonial rule.

Mutharika’s winning and formation of his government opened wounds of mistrust as he is being accused of favouring people from the South in his appointments to the Cabinet.

Mutharika’s 20 member Cabinet is comprised more than 80 per cent of members from the southern region with the other regions sharing the remaining 20 per cent.

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