Nepalese Bhim Chimoriya once said when all the people of a nation join together and work collectively for the well being of the country, it is called national unity.
Chimoriya said national unity is crucial to lead the nation towards its progress and prosperity.
“This feeling of national unity helps strengthen the nation. Unity promotes peace and love in a nation. Where people are united, they can put efforts in elimination of vices like corruption.
“It gives people sense of security for they are able to know each other better and understand each other’s sensitivity. Unity promotes cooperation and opens opportunity to excellence,” emphasised Chimoriya.
The third stanza of the Malawi National Anthem also stresses the importance of national unity.
Says the stanza: “Freedom ever, let us all unite To build up Malawi. With our love, our zeal and loyalty, bringing our best to her. In time of war, or in time of peace, one purpose and one goal. Men and women serving selflessly in building Malawi.”
A nation that is united does not care where one comes from to be considered for positions of authority such as that of president.
In a country where unity is paramount and above petty and personal interests, political parties decide to put aside their differences and work together because they are all bonded by a love for their country.
It is probably for this reason that President Peter Mutharika has been appealing to Malawians to unite and respect one another.
Mutharika is simply preaching the gospel according to the Constitution, which provides equal rights to all the citizens regardless of their race, language, culture, color, religion and gender.
The Constitution does not discriminate Malawians on the basis of region of origin, caste, colour, religion, language or culture.
And according to CCAP Livingstonia Synod general secretary (GS) Reverend Levi Nyondo, every Malawian –from Nsanje to Chitipa –is equal under the law; and hence, can lead this country.
But does the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership, including Mutharika himself, believe in this ethos?
Are they prepared to promote national unity? This question comes to mind when one critically analyses recent remarks by Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure Jappie Mhango.
Mhango – who is also DPP national campaign director – is on record to have told people in Mzimba that the Northern Region cannot produce a president as it lacks adequate numbers (voters).
His remark begs another question: Is the DPP ready to divide this nation to ensure only a certain region produces a President?
DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila says Mhango was simply exercising his freedom of expression and right to hold an opinion.
But does the Constitution not emphasise on the need for citizens to enjoy these freedoms and rights with a sense of responsibility? Or is it that the DPP members are above the law?
Nyondo believes Mhango’s remarks cannot fit anywhere near “nation building” tag.
Nyondo says it is even more disturbing to note that these remarks from a Cabinet minister from the same region he intends to discriminate based on its human population (numbers).
“We believe if a man is discriminating against his own region, then he doesn’t deserve to even be in Cabinet because he finds his own place of origin to be a disqualification for public office,” he says.
Mzuzu-based social commentator and columnist Emily Mkamanga faults DPP leaders for preaching national unity, yet they seem to promote divisions based on regions, religions, cultures, etc.
“Divide-and-rule seems to be the policy of the [DPP] leadership, which shows no respect for other people. This is very clear when one listens to the speeches by Mutharika and other leaders at a political rally,” says Mkamanga.
It is such revelations that leaves one gasping: Whose interests are DPP gurus working to achieve? Are they ready to divide this nation as long as they produce a President?n