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Politics, democracy and governance in independent Malawi: the dichotomy between promises and reality

Kameme , Webster Siame (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

We are convinced that the risen masses must stand at the heart and in the vanguard of the great historic process to eradicate the legacy of slavery, colonialism, apartheid and neo-colonialism. (Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki)

True to the words of Mr. Mbeki, masses stood in the struggle with their leaders but what did they get in return? Perpetuation of poverty ; dictatorships ; violation of peoples’ rights; corrupt practices; nepotism and tribalism at the hands of their own people. Since independence in 1964, Malawi has gone through three political regimes. The MCP, UDF and DPP, characterised by authoritarian rule with some of the most horrific violations of human rights in modern history, followed by a ‘democratic dispensation’ synonymous with corrupt practices, lack of the rule of law, nepotism and dictatorial tendencies respectively.

My argument therefore, in this dissertation is that at every stage of political change Malawians have sacrificed to fight for a better future but at every stage, the promises given by the political elite have always been diametrically opposed to the reality. Finally, I argue that a devolved legislative system will empower local communities and district assemblies in local resource management and development.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Shear, Keith
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Centre for West African Studies
Subjects:DT Africa
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:2898
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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