01:45 am - Wednesday 21 November 2018

Tribal politics should stop in Malawi

By Amalawi - Wed Oct 03, 6:03 am

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In Malawi voting has always taken place along tribal lines and this is happening again in Mzimba. All parties are campaigning along the tribal line. Any good person should be elected based on his views and skills and not tribe, Malawians should look for a credible person, not tribe.

Those who seek public office “must sell themselves to the people of Malawi as Malawians” and not as members of this or that tribe. All Political parties must campaign on one Malawi and one nation. PP,DPP,UDF, Afford and all independents in Mzimba remember we are one, one Malawi and one nation.

No one should be elected to public office on the basis of their tribe. We must vote only for people who are known for their honesty, ability, dedication and concern for the welfare of all. Politicians should therefore be evaluated on their capacity to implement both their party’s manifesto and their personal vision. Those who offer themselves for re-election ought to be evaluated against the record of what they have or have not achieved.

Tribal dance in Malawi

Tribal dance in Malawi

Did they fulfil their promises? Did they offer quality service to all the people and not only to those who voted for them into power? Were they available to listen to the concerns of the people and were they selfless in responding to the needs of all, especially the poor? Those who have not yet held public office should be carefully evaluated in terms of their competence and their reputation for honesty and selfless dedication to the common good.

For all who seek public office, there is need to pay attention to their concern for social justice, desire to work for the common good instead of self-enrichment, disposition to use power for service, especially service of the poor and underprivileged, openness to dialogue, good moral standing, transparency and accountability to the electorate, competence and courage to speak out the truth.

And tribe should never be criteria for voting for any politician seeking public office.

Campaigning along tribal lines should disqualify someone because it makes them unfit to be national leaders, to be leaders for all our people. Political affiliation based entirely on tribe and province negates everything that we have stood for as a nation, as a people.

And those who have been campaigning on tribal lines should not blame the common man for the consequences of their tribalism. The fault is theirs.

The people they are teaching to hate and despise others on tribal lines may successfully be taught to hate them next time. So even from a personal and rather selfish angle, this way of politicking and electioneering must be condemned as completely un-Malawian unless, of course, they don’t mean it when they speak of ‘One Malawi, One Nation’.

It is good to remember that whatever we are in terms of tribes, we have one common denominator, and that is God our Creator and that we are all Malawians. All of us stem from Him and as such we have no reason whatsoever to look at other people in terms of tribe. If we do that, we defy God. And those who defy God pay for their sins heavily.

Let’s honour the promise of the founders of this nation: “Our society in Malawi shall be non-tribal, non-racial and that our society in Malawi shall only judge each and every individual according to his behaviour” (Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda).

We must ensure that tribe becomes only a God-given gift to each one of us and not an indelible mark or attribute that accords a special status to any.
We should detest tribalism because it is a barbaric thing, regardless of whoever it comes from.

Tribalism pollutes the atmosphere of national and human relations and poisons the minds of the backward, the bigoted and the prejudiced.

Tribalism is a blight on our conscience. And we should never allow our country to play host to tribalism in any way, in any form. Nor shall our voices be stifled if we see that any of our politicians is courting tribal politics. Tribal politics must be consciously combated and not discreetly tolerated.

All of us know how stubbornly tribalism can cling to the mind and how deeply it can infect the human soul. For this reason and if we are true to our commitment to One Malawi, One Nation, and to the protection of the national dignity of our people, we have to fight tribal politics until victory is achieved.

So, we urge all Malawians, and all parties whatever their personal interests or concern, to guard against divisive tribal politics and all its ugly consequences.
We have achieved a lot when all our people united. And we should not lose our achievements as a nation now because of suspicion, mistrust, selfishness and tribal politics among any of our people.

Those who think that they are entitled to certain national political positions because of their tribe or on account of their tribe should be clearly taught that national political positions are not based on tribe but on the conduct of each individual candidate and that of their political parties. And this should be done by not voting for them.
Only those who are committed to One Malawi, One Nation should be given a chance to govern this country.

PP, DPP and all independents campaign on one Malawi and Mzimba people do not vote along tribal lines.

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