May 31, 2013
Mzimba Luwerezi MP Immanuel Bofomo Nyirenda should learn to give taxpayers value for money by resisting the urge to talk sectarian politics in Parliament instead of fighting for resources from the national pot for his district.
Parliamentary privilege is a relic bequeathed to Malawi after adopting the Westminister system in which MPs are granted immunity to speak freely in the House without fear of legal action on the basis of slander or any other law that they may violate as they represent their constituents.
In Britain, where this was copied from, there is a review going on to determine how to stop any possible misuse of the right after some MPs and a peer sought to use it to stop their prosecution in the expenses scandal, arguing that the parliamentary immunity protected them, something the court found not only feeble but foolish as well.
Malawi has not seen anything of this sort, but I am not sure whether parliamentary privilege has not been abused by some MPs such as Bofomo who decide to violate the sanctity of Parliament by bringing historical beer hall tales into the House.
This has the potential to bring down this nation through unnecessary suspicion and conflict among different districts and, sad to say in this day and age, tribes.
What does Bofomo intend to achieve by saying Mzimba is in Malawi by accident and it was not colonised together with Malawi; therefore, its land does not belong to the nation, but the people of Mzimba?
We all have sweet memories of empty fireside tales that our forefathers were telling us as we grew up in the villages. Most of them glorified their past and its heroics. This was meant to inculcate pride in us that our lineage was, after all, great, special and chosen.
But as one grows up, one should get over such nonsense and learn to see the larger picture and seamlessly live with people from other lands; thereby forge a national identity which is more beneficial than the narrow view of a particular locality.
More crucially all these historical falsehoods fell off when Malawi became a nation at independence.
What a better place to celebrate this than in Parliament where representatives from all corners of the country meet to debate national issues affecting million Malawians!
Sadly, one parliamentarian wants to wreck this harmony and decorum of the House and instead turn it into a forum where he can show off his warped knowledge of his personal origins and sow divisive seeds among Malawians.
What is so special about Mzimba today that Bofomo could say its land is sacred and does not belong to Malawi. The district is just like any other: poor, backward, greatly in need of development as it only consists of large swathes of virgin land that cries for attention.
I would have thought an MP worth their salt would see that what Mzimba needs is resources to develop which can only come from the national pot.
I am calling Bofomo’s rant by its rightful name—a bag of empty crap, but this is not to nullify the venom of sectarian politics at national stage which can wreck this nation and endanger the lives of innocent people for nothing.
It is a fact that Africa has not handled secession claims well which has led to colossal loss of life. Examples are many with Eritrea and Ethiopia as well Biafra in Nigeria coming to mind.
Is that what Bofomo desires by attempting to talk of Mzimba as the special district in Malawi?
In any case, what is so special about Mzimba land that it cannot be said to be in Malawi? Most land in Malawi, especially in villages, such as Mzimba Luwerezi, is customary controlled on trust by village heads who give it to those that want it.
But the chiefs of the district have already told the MP to shut up. I will not do the same.
On the contrary, I will just ask Bofomo to spare Malawians his load of rubbish as they do not pay for his luxurious stay in Lilongwe so that he could subject them to his beer hall ideas.
Leaders coming in the likes of Bofomo are dangerous and must not be anywhere near power. Their load of rubbish endangers the lives of ordinary people who have nothing to do with their warped thinking.