The Forum for the Advancement of Federal System of Government and Rural Development in Malawi (FAFESRUDEM) says the quasi-religious organisation Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has no legal mandate to regulate and determine debate on calls for adoption of federal system of government in the country.
FAFESRUDEM has since distanced itself from statements, conclusions and recommendations made by PAC during the national follow up conference on federalism and inclusivity on December 10.
During the national follow-up conference on federalism and inclusivity, PAC announced that 64 percent of Malawians, who were consulted on the issue of federalism, rejected the federal system of government being advocated mainly by some individuals and political leaders from the north.
FAFESRUDEM said in statement that PAC’s pronouncements are misleading and inconsistent with the context and content of actual report of the interfaith organization.
“FAFESRUDEM considers PAC as a mere interest group without constitutional mandate, let alone legal powers to umpire, direct, regulate and determine the debate on the need to introduce federal system of government in Malawi,” reads the statement in part.
The statement has been signed by its president Dr Bina Shawa, his deputy Ipyana Nthakomwa, Secretary Luke Thawe, Spokesperson Dan Msowoya and their Technical Advisor Professor Fred Msiska.
The statement further described PAC as deceitful and trying to usurp state authority for its own agenda by bestowing upon itself the role of a demagoguery umpire on the federalism debate.
According to them, federal system of government is one sure means of guaranteeing and protecting the rights of minority groups in Malawi.
“FAFESRUDEM is now even more galvanized and determined to proceed with the sensitization program among the grassroots; and to pursue the long standing quest for direct dialogue with the State, under a totally new and objective mediator,” reads the statement in our possession.
But PAC spokesperson Father Peter Mulomole said they are not ready to argue with any individual or organizations failing to come to terms with its findings.
Mulomole also faulted FAFESRUDEM for using “hostile language” and for disputing views of Malawians who were engaged during the national and regional consultative conferences.
“It is not in our best interest to be arguing with individuals or organizations on the matter. Yes, we don’t have the legal mandate, but we have the moral capital or moral power to facilitate debate on any issue for the betterment of our country.
“This is the same moral capital that we used to enter into a dialogue with late Kamuzu Banda’s presidential committee on dialogue in the transition period from the one-party to multiparty system of government.
He therefore said they only shared the views of Malawians who observed that there are already on going reform efforts that need to be harnessed and reinvigorated for authorities to effectively respond to the issues that motivated calls for federal system of government.
“Malawians did not reject federal system of government, but they only suggested for progressive devolution within a unitary scheme. They said no federal system of government for the time being.
“Our study was done professionally and the findings were applauded by all the stakeholders, including the delegates. Maybe this people don’t know the background of PAC and its moral power. They should go back to our history. I have respect for Mr. Dan Msowoya and Professor Fred Msiska, but their statement is cheap with hostile language and very unfortunate to describe PAC as deceitful,” said Mulomole.
On FAFESRUDEM’s call to have an audience the President on the same, PAC Spokesperson said federalism advocates should pursue debate among the grassroots other than engaging the president, an employee of Malawians.
PAC, founded in 1992, is an umbrella body for major faith communities represented in Malawi by the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM), Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM), Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) and the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :