Government has said peace is a prerequisite for national development because it has the potential to foster socio – economic activities of a country.
Chief Secretary to Government, George Mkondiwa made the observation on Monday at Mangochi District Council headquarters when he launched the district peace committee.
“Peace may be taken for granted when you have it. Look at what is happening in Syria and Somalia where everything has been put to a halt.
“When there is no peace you cannot have social services like health and education, let alone freedom of worship..
“At the moment, other countries are grappling to establish these peace committees when fights have already erupted, we should count ourselves lucky we are a peaceful nation,” Mkondiwa said.
Mkondiwa said it was imperative to ensure peace was nurtured at all times because it is cardinal and contributes to national prosperity, noting that as the country develops there is likely to be conflicts especially with the prevailing conditions of climate change and Information Communication and Technology.
He observed that the district peace committees were essential because they would get early warning signs and engage with relevant people to avoid such conflicts from degenerating into turmoil which retards economic growth.
The chief secretary advised the district committee to uphold high ethical standards and desist from elements of corruption and bribery. He also encouraged the committee to be on top of things when discharging their duties.
“This team of thirteen people making up the committee will have to discharge their duties with due diligence and high sense of professionalism to make judgments which would stand the taste of the time. The thirteen-point code of conduct would have to be adhered to.
“Where you seem not to understand something, seek expert clarification from others so that you internalize the concept better,” Mkondiwa advised.
Mkondiwa disclosed that Mangochi was chosen along with two other districts of Karonga and Kasungu to pilot the initiative because of recent developments where communities have encroached on government offices and emerging religious differences.
United Nations Peace and Development Advisor to Malawi, Becky Adda said the peace committee was relevant to Malawi because of the country’s reputation of being ‘the warm of heart of Africa’ which would then go a long way in consolidating such respect.
“The committee will have the responsibility of finding transformative ways of resolving tensions which may occur at household and community level thereby ensuring that there is peace and harmony in the country,” Adda said.
Adda said the committee would also identify potential areas of conflict and provide proactive resolutions before such tensions erupt in chaos.
“The main job of the committee will be to identify issues and work out solutions so that conflicts which can be managed at community levels do not escalate into something else as it is happening in other countries,” Adda added.
She assured that the UN would continue supporting government to establish the National Peace Architecture which would also lead to the formation of District Peace Committees across the country to resolve tensions at that level.
Member of the Civil Society Tripartite Taskforce on the National Peace Architecture, Dr. Chrissie Mwiyeriwa said the launch of the district peace committee was a remarkable achievement meant to facilitate contact and dialogue as a way of promoting peace and harmony in the country.
“You’ll recall that in July, 2011 a number of people lost their lives due to countrywide demonstrations. And that development led to the birth of the national peace architecture whose objective is to nip conflicts in the bud by getting early warning systems before erupting into violence,” Mwiyeriwa said.
The committee comprising religious and traditional leaders, special interest groups and youth representatives was launched under the theme: ‘District peace committees as the building blocks for sustainable development goals.’
The United Nations Development Fund is technically and financially supporting the process.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :