…says Timothy Mtambo classic example
…calls for North political block
Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo, the man who galvanised the 2019 demonstrations was, just like many politicians from the Northern region used and dumped, former Vice President Khumbo Kachali has said.
Addressing a meeting of the Northern Political Block being formed to unite politicians, religious and civic leaders in the region at Mphatso Motel on Friday, Kachali said the region is used and dumped because it lacks units.
He said it was time to unite the region and work together in the run up to 2025 for it to leverage its political and economic capital.
“The question remains, do we need to consolidate our political capital? My answer is affirmative. We needed this like yesterday. Look at the Southern region. No matter what, it will always rally behind a party and a leader from the region,” said Kachali on the formation of a united front.
He said in 1994, despite Chakufwa and AFORD being front runners, the South supported Muluzi. He won. The region has continued to support the Mutharikas over time.
“So too the centre, in 1994, it rallied behind MCP and continues to do so even now.
As a region, we need to consolidate our political ambitions and look at the probability of ourselves becoming one entity. The region stands to benefit a lot if we walk step in lock,” said the former Vice president.
He said despite individual shortfalls there is room to unite for the development of the northern region.
“The formation of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the United Democratic Front (UDF) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has a touch of at least someone from the north. These hands were used, abused and later rejected over time. It is even disheartening that there are cases where northerners are tearing into each other politically to the amusement of others,” said Kachali to the group that included some Senior Chiefs from the region.
He said the northern region has been the hotbed of political revolution in the country as some of its prominent sons and daughters have at times left a mark even across the region.
“The political foundation of Malawi owes a lot to the likes of Levi Ziliro Mumba, Orton Ching’oli Chirwa, Aleke Banda, Yatuta and Dunduzu Chisiza, Kanyama Chiume, Manoah Chirwa, Rose Chibambo, Chakufwa Tom Chihana, Dennis Simphawaka Nkhwazi and Mapopa Chipeta, among others,” said Kachali who heads Freedom Party.
“What is sad about the political landscape in the northern region is the ultimate split within the rank and file,” he added.
The former Veep said it was time to take stock if the region has benefitted from its political capital.
“It is an open secret in this country that if a political party or pressure group is formed, northerners are on the forefront where they are mostly taken, used and later dumped. Most political mischief is regrettably, sometimes, left to northerners to perpetuate,” said Kachali, in apparent reference to Bakili Muluzis third term.
He charged, “A classic example would be that of one Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo, who galvanized the civil society to demonstrate the mishandling of the 2019 presidential elections. His presence and pressure cannot be disassociated from the 2020 presidential elections rerun. Where is he now? The same fate meted on other political figureheads from the north has surely been visited upon him. My personal view is that he is politically suffocated and gasping for air.”
The former Vice president said the North need to leverage its political capital to benefit economically as it contributes to the national economy.
He said while discriminatory quota system was dead, it was apparent that people from the region continue being discriminated through other means.
He called on unity of purpose from the region saying there will be many forces from within and from without working against unity.
“The most eminent and possible enemy against such effort is perhaps from the region itself. Sad. But what draws us together is far greater than what can divide us. Still we should embark on this journey.
“If we approach the forthcoming general elections in 2025 as divided as we are now, then the region is doomed. It will continue to prop other regions and in turn, be treated as a sideshow.
Once again, since the independence of this country in 1964, through to 1994 and until now, leaders from the northern region are used. Alas! Always dumped in the end. The region is mostly courted during electioneering. Most promises made to the region remain unfulfilled thereafter. It is time to act a bloc and safeguard our interests,” said Kachali.