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Lazarus Chakwera

In the week that has just ended, President Lazarus Chakwera, or let us say, State House, made some appointments.

As usual, the reaction has been mixed as some think some of the people appointed are unfit and will only aid in the downward spiral of the leadership. But people are entitled to their opinion, and who cares?

Of course, some of the opinions are influenced by hate, malice, sagacity, love, frustrations, hope and whatever one would pick in the mixed bag.

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What, however, we should note as well-meaning citizens is that the appointing authority had to labour himself to justify the appointments by reminding us of the origin of those appointed.

This might have gone unnoticed, but that is the biggest message that reveals a deep problem in the country. That subtle appendage is an overt confirmation that, as a country, we are yet to be healed and that we are refusing to accept that we are all Malawians regardless of where we come from.

We have people, such as me, who have one parent from the Central Region, the other from the Northern Region, having lived the entire life in the Southern Region and got education in the Eastern Region. Must we, then, choose a place where we say we come from?

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The point is simple. It is because we put too much attention on where one comes from that is why the government was pressed to tell us where the appointed people come from.

I know of governments that have made top positions a preserve of a certain region or tribe. This was and will remain a mistake. Malawi belongs to all of us and we should not be categorised on where our ancestors come from or whatsoever.

History is replete with tales of how people turned into monsters because of petty issues as tribe, home of origin, religion or whatever orientation.

Closer home in Rwanda in 1994, a nation was turned into a citadel of blood as the devil watched in glee when neighbours butchered each just because some call themselves Hutu and others Tutsi.

We must be careful, as a nation, when touching on sensibilities. Even the biggest cancer starts with a mole.

I do not think there is a need to justify appointments by listing where one comes from. He, who deserves the job, let them get it.

Once upon a time, I worked with a deputy for close to a year. It took me over six months to realise that he is from the district which I call home village and that we also worship at the same church. What I cared most was and has always been his professionalism, diligence and skill.

So, this nation must remove the stinking mask of where one comes from and go out to enjoy the air of unity as one country that has one purpose which is to forge ahead and leave our embarrassing past behind.

Away from the appointments, I would advise the current leadership to be decisive and know that it has a huge task of sewing together the shreds of what became our nation.

The air, so far, is fresh and most people think we will miraculously enter Canaan. But the truth is that just as it was the case in 1994 when removing the old MCP was deemed as a dawn of the better Malawi, people should not be over excited with a change of regime.

The 1994 change brought with it atrocities such as a culture of corruption which we are yet to recover from.

The new regime of the Tonse Alliance should be checked and well advised by all Malawians of goodwill from every corner.

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