As count down to the Malawi 2014 elections continues, a new party that promotes feudalism, Umodzi Party (UP), has been born in the country.
Feudalism is a social system that existed during the middle ages in Europe where people were given land and protection by a nobleman and in return had to work and fight for him.
But a political scientist Dr Henry Chingaipe has doubted whether feudalism would work in the country.
UP, the 48th party to be registered in the country, is headed by College of Medicine lecturer Professor John Chisi with businessperson Edger Tembo as its secretary general.
Announcing the formation of the party at Shire Highlands Hotel in Blantyre on Thursday evening, Chisi said his party wants to bring social justice and remove economic challenges within a short period of time.
“The social economic challenges the country is facing have forced us to come in. It is a pity that after 49 years of independence, Malawi is still dependent on donors,” said Chisi.
Through feudalism the party wants to introduce, chiefs will be identifying land where people will be working whereas government will provide farm inputs such as fertiliser and seeds.
“Chiefs will be receiving farm inputs and when people harvest, the same chiefs will help to get at least a third of the harvest back to government. The only exception is where people have not harvested enough and, in that case, government will get nothing,” he said.
Chingaipe, who is also governance and development consultant, however, doubted the workability of feudalism.
He noted that the system is ancient, hence could not be implemented in the country and in present times.
“There is need for the party to do more research about what feudalism was, how it was implemented and why it was abandoned. So, it’s not workable, but it’s a concept that the party has which of course needs more explaining.
“UP has [also] come late and one wonders what the motivation is. Government is complex business and there is need for more work from now to 2014 elections,” said Chingaipe.
In outlining his party’s vision, Chisi also highlighted the need for the country to replace tobacco with other crops such as sunflower.
Chisi started politics as People’s Transformation Party (Petra) communications director. He then joined People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) where he became party treasurer.