PAC for peaceful polls

Public Affairs Committee (PAC) says it has put in place a number of conflict management interventions should challenging scenarios emerge in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

PAC chairperson the Reverend Dr Felix Chingota said this in an interview yesterday after he opened a two-day interfaith conference in Blantyre on the clergy’s role in the elections.

Chingota: There are peaceful means of resolving issues

He said the quasi-religious body has taken a three-dimension approach to its involvement in the elections which is meeting presidential aspirants which has already taken place and awaits a peace pact signing on May 4; training about 140 youths to be allocated in violence-prone areas in use of phone application for early warning and response; and identifying seven mediators to undertake mediation on contentious issues.

Said Chingota: “We don’t want that after the elections the loser goes to the streets. People may have reservations about the elections results, but there could be peaceful ways of resolving those issues and mediation is one of them and we have that in place.”

He said the training for the senior clergy chosen as a mediation team has been supported by the United Nations (UN) headquarters.

During the meeting, participants deliberated on numerous issues ranging from rigging elections to conflict resolution and the whole electoral process.

On rigging, participants said the pronouncements of rigging by several political leaders may lead to voter apathy as voters may see no point in voting.

But in a separate interview, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) deputy director of electoral services Wellington Katantha allayed any rigging fears, stressing the whole process will be and has been transparent and credible from the start.

The meeting, which proceeds to its second day today, is being held under the theme Promoting a Common Understanding Among Faith Leaders on the 2019 Electoral Process.

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