Reflection: The Fate of the North

By Leonard Kavwenje

He was born on 30 January 1919 and demised on 20 October 1992. A lawyer and political leader. His name was Orton Chirwa.

Chirwa was one of the most influential political figures who sacrificed his hands and legs to bring Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda here in Nyasaland. Chirwa, thought he was right but time taught him a memorable smouldering lesson.

Saddening is that, after a dispute with Malawi’s autocratic President Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, he and his wife, Vera, were exiled. These two Chirwas were tried on charges of treason and sentenced to death. Thanks to Amnesty International! After spending nearly ten years and one, on death roll in Malawi, Orton Chirwa died in prison.

This is the evil of Malawi politics! A northerner was used and dumped. When fruits of power riped, Chirwa became an enemy. Kamuzu changed like a chameleon!

As if this betrayal and disillusionment was not enough, with time came Chakufwa Chihana, Simbi ya Moto, a Malawian human rights activist, pro-democracy advocate, trade unionist and later politician.

Chihana, as he died on June 12, 2006, to his credit is the undisputed fact that he still remains a democracy maestro and a steam engine for the landmarking early 1990’s political revolutions in Malawi. As he formed his Alliance for Democracy (AFORD), Chihana understood it well that orchestrating democratic values on a tongue that had adapted to dictatorship alcohol of Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda could not just flow simply. As a taskmaster, Chihana possessed a patriotic touch for all Malawians. His sense of the tribe of Tumbuka never succeeded to block his love of liberating people of Malawi – from the North, Centre and South. He was selfless. He deserved to be the state president. He died in an unachieved dream.

Chakufwa Chihana

Another turn of the evil of Malawian politics! Chihana was just used and dumped in the political bin. Muluzi went for Malewezi! Sad!

Then came, Right Honourable Khumbo Hastings Kachali – 2012. At a time people of the North thought the sun had begun to shine upon the least developed region, a brain-disturbing psyche stroke when former State President Joyce Banda opted for Sosten Gwengwe. JB, as a female political wrestler knocked Kachali down the lane of vice presidency and runningmateship of the People’s Party as the country was approaching 2014 Tripartite Elections. Khumbo is a man of discernment and character. He wronged JB nothing. The convincing justification is that, he was doomed as a non-political weapon – a talent that was powerless to be born and could not rake in a sea of votes pondering over the calculus of his region of origin. Let us speak the just, the North is a powerhouse and mitochondria of political brains – celebraties and heroics but it is the poorest region in Malawi if you allow me to present World Bank Group facts. This is a paradox of progress!

With time, came the Age of Comradeship. The political orchestra was fathered by a new young soldier on the blok! He was born in feathers of human rights-based activism but grew and developed in wings of politics-based activism. His name is no other than: Timothy Pagonachi Simbega Mtambo. A natural 39-year-old warrior from Chitipa, who the Democratic Progressive Party confused as a foreigner.

To put it frankly, Mtambo risked his life and family at gunshots during the Anti-DPP protests that emanated from the unmerciful messy May 21, 2019 elections.

At a perilous time, most activists were silent as the grave, Mtambo, then 35, jumped in the cruising political ship, holding a sword of a Third Republic. He demanded electoral justice and accountability. Malawians of rational reasoning joined him. When government failed on some development elements, the very same people labelled him “betrayor”.

During the struggle, Mtambo was sleeping with death as DPP never tolerated the power of people.

Now President Chakwera and Vice President Chilima are in power. Aren’t they? Where is Comrade Timothy Pagonachi Simbega Mtambo, the CFT leader? Used and dumped? What a beautiful hell on an ugly earth!

Malawian politics is dirty – broken beyond repair! Perhaps, rotten to it’s core!

May I appeal to those who have answers to these questions to kindly support.

As the political pot is boiling, as a country, we need to fully understand the source of the fate of long-standing politicians from the North.

Timothy Mtambo

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