Reference is made to your article in the Weekend Nation newspaper dated 20th May 2017 titled ‘In Defence of DPP Secretary General’. Let me start by stating the following:
Thank God that Barack Obama did not change the name of the ‘White House’ to become the ‘Black House’ or whatsoever because he knew that this was the fulfillment of Martin Luther King Jr’s dream or prophesy. Not many Americans thought that a black person would ever rule America. That is why I believe they named the president’s palace there as the White House.
Former president of apartheid South Africa, Mr. Pieter Willem Botha , [also known as Die Groot Krokodil—the Big Crocodile] once said, “South Africa is for the white people” and many people, including black South Africans, believed him. However, a few strong-willed people like Nelson Mandela and others, refused to surrender to such a racist policy and fought apartheid until South Africa became democratic and political power opened to be contested by all South Africans.
In both the United States of America and South Africa, black people were being used to undermine fellow black people who had the courage to speak out and fight against the racially discriminatory policies of their time.
Here in Malawi we have Northerners like Ziliro Chibambo who do or did not dream of becoming presidents of this country and preferred to be used to discredit and bring down those Northerners who have the potential to take up the highest office of this land.
I personally do not believe in such mediocre political thinking and I will never subscribe to such people’s defeatist theories that this is the way this country will forever be governed. Things will change because Malawians are moving away from tribe-based politics and policies.
I strongly believe, and mark my words, that one day a person from Northern Malawi will become State President of Malawi. I have no doubt about that.
All in all, I strongly condemn what Ms Jeffrey wa Jeffrey and others said about the people of the Northern Region, and you should please take this message of condemnation to the above mentioned people and others who ought to speak these words again on my behalf.
During your travels, remember to also take my message of hope to the Northerners that one day a person from this region will become the president of this land, from Nsanje to Chitipa and Likoma to Mchinji. And that person will be the best Malawian president ever.
Thank you very much for your feedback. We really appreciate it. We also appreciate your positive outlook on Malawian politics. We can reveal today that we suspended our tour of Goliati in Thyolo to reflect on your letter.
During our introspection, we realised that there is something seriously wrong about how this country’s citizens are socialised. We are socialised to compartmentalise ourselves into tribes. Sadly, our schools and politicians are not doing enough to the country against this feeling of ethnic supremacy or inferiority.
We believe the current DPP Secretary General and other politicians are much victims of our micro-nationalism, also called tribalism. In the Southern and Central Regions, aTumbuka and akuMpoto are swearwords used to describe people from the Northern region. In the Northern Region, muChawa and, in worst circumstances, viChewa are used to swear at people from the Centre and the South.
We need to reschool ourselves that democracy is more than a mere game of numbers devoid of quality of the people we vote for. Otherwise, the mediocrity and the attendant poverty we seem to be accustomed to will never be defeated. Tanzania and, now, Rwanda have succeeded in eliminating tribalism.
It would appear that not many people know that subjecting a people to tribal is unconstitutional and criminal in Malawi.
Abiti Joyce Befu, MG 66.
Leader of Delegation