A major conference organised by quasi-religious grouping the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is underway in Blantyre where a cross-section of Malawians is discussing the future of the country with is facing economic crisis.
Opening the conference, Blantyre CCAP Synod’s the Reverend Felix Chingota, who is moderator of St Columba CCAP congregation; – the conference chairman – said Malawi does not need donor aid to deal with socio-economic problems prevailing in the country but decisive leadership.
“We just need the leadership that can look at our vast resources and know how to use them prudently,” he said.
The indaba by the influential inter-faith civil society grouping is discussing the political, economic and food shortages that have virtually making Malawi fast going into a failed state.
Chingota in an interview with journalists later said the current leadership falls short of this, saying this is why Malawi has been hit by the numerous problems.
“We have many problems right now. Take the food shortage for instance; we don’t need funding for this. What we need is to have leadership that can use the available resources and turn Malawi into a bread basket,” he said.
The government blames the current food shortages to floods and drought caused by El Niño whilst some experts say bad government agricultural problems have compounded the natural disasters problems.
Finance minister Goodall Gondwe who is attending the meeting conceded some of the problems the country is facing do not indeed need donor aid but decisive leadership.
He said the government has already started working on some issues to turn around tables.
The conference has unruffled quite a few feathers with government claiming that it has been organised to topple the government of President Peter Mutharika.
But PAC spokesman, Catholic priest Peter Mulomole, said Malawians have a democratic right to hold a lawful assembly anywhere in the country.
On instigating regime change, Mulomole described the allegation as paranoia.
There was an unusually heavy police presence in the city of Blantyre throughout the day. Anti-riot vehicles full of heavily-armed paramilitary police could be seen driving all over the city throughout the day.
The PAC meeting continues on Thursday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :