Minister of Information, Communication, Technology and Civic Education Patrica Kaliati and newly formed pro-government group, the Centre for Mind Change and have warned Public Affairs Committee (PAC) to cease the fire over “hostile and confrontational” approach which they accuse the religious grouping has taken after meeting with President Peter Mutharika on Thursday last week.
On Thursday last week Mutharika granted PAC an audience to allow representatives of the religious grouping present to him recommendations made at PAC’s conference in Blantyre in February this year.
On Friday newly formed Centre for Mind Change (CMC) challenged PAC to be decisive in its decisions and wondered why it failed to present to Mutharika original recommendations that were made at the Blantyre all inclusive conference.
“We noted with concern as to whether PAC represented the views of the citizenry of the country or indeed their own. It is so because some of the actionable resolutions were not well articulated and presented,” argued CMC Executive Director, Philip Kamangirah.
Kamangirah wondered why PAC representatives failed to present to Mutharika a resignation petition as earlier decided by the conference.
“In fact PAC needed to have resigned first because they failed and misled Malawians. The mood of many PAC members (during the audience with Mutharika) was disrespectful, disorganized, hostile and confrontational as opposed to the desire of many Malawians,” added Kamangirah.
CMC sentiments have been echoed by Minister of Information Patricia Kaliati who on Friday issued out a media statement- made available to Nyasa Times – condemning PAC for being hostile towards Mutharika.
Kaliati was reacting to interview which Father Peter Mulomole, PAC’s spokesperson, gave to ‘Political Index’ in The Nation, 27 April 2016.
She said government was disappointed the stand PAC has taken, arguing “the disrespectful, hostile and confrontational tone coming from PAC is extremely worrying and surprising”.
“Every Malawian expects PAC leadership to realize that it is important to accord the Presidency the due respect the office deserves. Some of the phrases, insinuations and innuendoes PAC has calculatedly used are do not meet Malawians’ expectations.
“As Government, we have no wish to disrespect the spirit of democratic engagement and dialogue between Government and PAC by going into verbal bartering with each other in the media,” explained Kaliati.
The outspoken minister said contrary to the dismissive and hostile stance taken by PAC, government still regard the religious grouping as partner in constructive dialogue towards finding solutions to Malawi’s longstanding challenges.
“PAC must respect the spirit of dialogue. We also have no wish to descend into disputing in the media the statements whose truth is visibly missing from Father Mulomole’s opinion of the meeting and preparations for it”.
Kaliati then questioned PAC’s seriousness in preparing for high profile meetings like the one it had with Mutharika, arguing the Head of State was patient enough not to throw out the document because he wanted to hear the group’s concerns.
“We are concerned about preparations for such high levelled meetings because we believe PAC lost an opportunity to engage the President meaningfully by coming to the meeting not so well prepared. Most Malawians have agreed on this observation. PAC should not rush into defensive mechanisms of attacking vocabulary like ‘executive arrogance’ in order to bury their own inefficiencies and failure to technically handle the President’s enquiries”.
During the audience with PAC, Mutharika angrily accused the grouping of ambushing him, saying the officials withdrew original recommendations just to give him a set of new ones 30 minutes before the meeting.
Many Malawians have been complained by the failure of PAC representatives to take Mutharika head on during the meeting, arguing they were ill-prepared and did not articulate issues that were raised during the February conference.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :