A political scientist has condemned traditional leaders for fuelling partisan politics in Malawi through backing politicians and political parties.
Chiefs in the country have been spotted to be mouthpieces for some political parties in the country.
Following criticism that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been facing, chiefs were noted to be fighting back the institutions and opposition parties that have been advising government on its leadership.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera was weeks ago faulted by chiefs for his statements on President Peter Mutharika’s leadership.
Recently, PAC has been under fire with chiefs for describing Mutharika’s government to have “dismally failed” to meet its manifesto that was aimed at bringing prosperity in Malawi.
The religious body faulted “deep rooted corruption” in Mutharika’s government that has paralysed the developmental agenda for the country.
In a statement to members of the press, PAC cited the maize scandal and the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) scandal to be among issues Mutharika has been sitting on arguing they involve top government officials.
But PAC’s statement was deemed to be an ‘insult’ to Mutharika by the chiefs who argued that the country is making strides in development.
In an interview with Malawi24, Political Scientist Wonderful Mkhutche has faulted chiefs for bringing disunity among the citizenry through backing politicians who use them for their personal gains.
“By their work description, chiefs have to be the link between their people and government’s development work. When they involve themselves in partisan politics, they divide their own people and compromise development for their own areas.
“Chiefs have to serve all people. Being in the government or opposition should not matter. They need to be symbols of unity. But this has not been how they work in Malawi. They are usually used for political gains and it does no favour to our politics and development,” said Mkhutche.
He further faulted politicians for misusing the democratic principles that allow individuals freedom of expression arguing that many take chiefs as tools used for fights between political parties in the country.
“Malawi is a democracy, but is in short supply of democrats. Again, we still have a one party hangover. We need politicians who understand the system and appreciate our struggle for democracy and are willing to leave it stronger when they will be out of the political scene,” He explained further.
Mkhutche has since applauded Malawi for upholding democratic principles after the abolishment of one party system.