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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

No need for party with narrow interests

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Malawi will continue to remain a warm heart, smiling in the way of approaching ruthless poverty, if the political thought does not transform.

No wonder, there is news that former vice-president Khumbo Kachali has finally formed a political party – Freedom Party – to be launched on a date yet to be announced.

Constitutionally, Kachali has done nothing wrong as he and his associates are just exercising their freedom of association.

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But there can be reasons so hidden why Kachali is behaving like this but the truth of the matter goes to the much talked about greed among politicians.

Time without number some Malawians have argued that the country runs at a high risk of becoming racist and tribalistic because its political leaders and political parties continue undeterred to be profit-oriented and border on tribal and regional superiority instead of political ideology.

But politics is a way of appropriately or wisely governing a state for the benefit of the citizens.

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As such, it requires people of wisdom and having integrity of character for leadership and not those who are greedy and also power hungry.

Again, some people have argued that too many political parties are harming the country’s democracy.

So it is surprising that despite the apparent consensus, Kachali and his colleagues are reluctant to embrace and champion the need for change.

Leaders should be willing to stand for and champion agendas that advance the national interest not personal, regional or tribal interests.

It is doubtful whether the formation of Kachali’s Freedom Party is guided by political ideologies that focus on meeting human needs and building national identity and the country’s prosperous economy.

Far from it that Freedom Party’s policy platform would become less divisive and exclusionary and more unifying and inclusive.

The weight of evidence from both established and new democracies suggests that longer-term democratic consolidation – the extent to which a democratic regime is insulated from domestic challenges to the stability of the political order – requires the growth and maintenance of strong and effective parties.

So, in summary, Malawi needs parties which are based on broad political values and ideologies as well as specific policy programmes rather than narrow ethnic, racial or regional concerns.

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