Beyond Impunity

Starting on Wednesday this week is an 8-part Webinar, hosted by the Scotland Malawi Partnership, on Governance Strengthening. It is based on a book that I have been editing, together with my colleagues Asiyati Lorraine Chiweza and Wapulumuka Mulwafu, and aims to stimulate mutual learning between Malawi and Scotland.

The book was prompted by the dramatic political events that unfolded in Malawi last year when the Constitutional Court nullified the Presidential election and ordered the fresh election which led to the opposition coming to power. These stirring times called for an academic response. Scholars from a variety of disciplines came together to collaborate on a book that aims to offer some in-depth analysis of governance in Malawi.

The book begins on a note of celebration. The events of 2019-20 showed the resilience of Malawi’s democracy and constitutionalism. Yet it does not go far before running into some of the enduring problems that have bedevilled governance and politics in the country. Most of the book is concerned with dissecting these and seeking constructive solutions.

We did not have a title for the book when we started. It gradually became clear, however, that a recurring theme across a wide range of analysis is the issue of impunity. There has been a lack of due accountability in national life as a culture of impunity has taken hold. This has demoralised democracy and devastated economic management. So, to give a hopeful title to the book, we decided to call it, “Beyond Impunity: New Directions for Governance in Malawi.”

Each chapter will be presented by its author(s) at the Webinar and there will be a response from a Scottish perspective. The first of these, on Wednesday, will be from former Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell, who continues to maintain close links with Malawi. Registration for the Webinars is free of charge and information can be found via the links below:

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