2024-07-12

National Unity Department engages Malawians in ending regionalism, tribalism, and racism

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The Department of National Unity in the Ministry of Local Government, Unity, and Culture is engaging Malawians through District Councils on the extent of the problems of tribalism, racism, and regionalism in the country.

The engagement program has the objective of soliciting views and exploring the extent and impact of regionalism and the effectiveness of existing legal instruments and related interventions aimed at addressing regionalism, tribalism, and racism in Malawi.

A study that was carried out in 2018 on the common causes of conflicts in Malawi collaborated with the findings presented in the 2013 background report on the National Peace architecture, which identified ethnicity and regionalism as some of the major causes of conflicts in Malawi.

Briefing the District executive committee (Dec) in Dowa on the concept of criminalization of tribalism, racism, and regionalism, the Department’s Acting Director of Peace and National Unity Dyton Kang’oma, said regionalism, tribalism, and racism play a significant role in dividing communities not only in Malawi but globally.

Kang’oma said regionalism, tribalism, and racism contribute to conflicts in various communities observing that conflicts in various countries like Sudan, DR Congo, and Ethiopia have their roots in acts of discrimination.

The Acting Director said that Malawi’s Constitution prohibits discrimination of any form in all aspects of life including discrimination based on race, tribe, and district of origin.

However, acts of discrimination based on tribe, race, and region of origin seem to be prevalent in the communities, despite the presence of laws that prohibit such practices. It is, therefore, important to engage communities to find out the extent of these problems, their causes, and possible remedies to address them.

“The findings of the engagement meetings with communities will assist the Department of National Unity to come up with strategies for ending tribalism, regionalism, and racism in line with its mandate of uniting all Malawians regardless of their differences”. Said Kang’oma.

Ending tribalism, racism, and regionalism is one of the strategies in the country’s long-term development blueprint, Malawi 2063.

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