PAC seeks political reforms

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) says it will advocate for political reforms to end the current economic and governance challenges facing Malawi.

PAC chairperson the Reverend Mac Donald Kadawati on Monday said in a written response to a questionnaire that the committee will organise a national conference in the first quarter of this year to deliberate on the current situation and find the best way forward.

Said Kadawati: “We will be inviting top religious leaders to examine the necessary interventions for political reforms in the country. PAC is aware of the challenges Malawians are facing.

“As PAC, we will not be guided by whims from few individuals, but will facilitate a process where one common voice can come out from key opinion leaders.

“PAC will not be a stumbling block to the aspirations and will of the people at a time our country faces more challenges than before. At the moment, our country lacks a common direction. And let us avoid defending the indefensible.”

PAC executive director Robert Phiri confirmed that his office is organising the conference which will contribute to the organisation’s new approach of strengthening advocacy as the best intervention.

He said the grouping of faith-based organisations aims at soliciting views from various stakeholders on what they want to see happening in the wake of Malawi’s financial and governance crisis.

Said Phiri: “As to whether there are specific outcomes we are advocating for in our advocacy strategy, as PAC,  we believe in asking people what they want. Advocacy is based on the needs of the people and not our wishes.

“The term political reform is wide enough to allow opinion leaders to define what changes they wish to see in areas of legal framework and institutional architecture of the country.”

Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma) chairperson Voice Mhone said the dialogue process is just one of many avenues institutions can employ to bring about pressure to the authorities for a better Malawi.

“Let the conference be done as build-up to existing initiatives and not as parallel move for better reasons of maintaining focus and unity and also guarding against divide and rule in a quest of bailing Malawi out of repression,” said Mhone.

Mhone told the Weekend Nation on Monday that mass protests will be inevitable if the current government-initiated dialogue collapses.

“Through a mass protest, Malawians may call for impeachment, referendum in order to seek new mandate, a government of national unity or resignation of the President,” said Mhone, adding that a national conference would decide the next course of action.

Government spokesperson, who is also Information and Civic Education Minister, Patricia Kaliati is on record to have urged civil society to stop being provocative and present their issues to the Presidential Contact and Dialogue Group.

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