Malewezi to lead Malawi’s peace solidarity march, rally Sept 21

As Malawi joins the rest of the world in commemorating the 2013 International Day of Peace,  former Vice President Dr Justin Malewezi is expected to lead a Peace Solidarity March and Rally in Blantyre which will be part of the day’s activities. 

The event will be held this Saturday, 21 September, at the Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) under the local theme“We Are All One: Youth for Peaceful 2014 Elections”.

According to a member of the National Taskforce for the 2013 International Day of Peace in Malawi commemoration, the Peace Solidarity March will start from the Clock Tower in Blantyre at 08:00hours to the Blantyre Youth Centre where the rally will take place.

“This year, the commemoration of the peace day is focusing on the role of young people in sustainable peace building and conflict management taking into account their abilities for both peace and violence. Additionally, it has been observed that the majority of those involved in or manipulated for violence are the youth.

Malewezi: To lead

Malewezi: To lead

“Considering that young people below 30 years of age constitute over 65 percent of the total population, we believe that any efforts to safeguard peace and prevent potential conflicts in Malawi and world over must aim at engaging the youth in order for them to build a culture of tolerance and peace in a democratic society,” explained Edward Chileka-Banda, National Coordinator for Youth Consultative Forum (YCF), which is a member of the National Taskforce.

The International Day of Peace was declared by the United Nations (UN) and is celebrated to recognise the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflicts and promote peace.

On this day people around the world organise and take part in activities centred on the theme of Peace and these include peace prayers, observing ceasefires, peace vigils, peace forums, lighting of candles, and many more.

Chileka-Banda said while Malawi has relatively been peaceful over the years, it has been observed that incidences of violence, hatred and intimidation have nevertheless been common and sometimes on the rise.

“Political violence is one of the most common and usually revolves around elections. Related to political violence are religious conflicts, wrangles over land and chieftaincies that can be a source of major conflicts. Violence against women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly (based on witchcraft beliefs) have been damaging too,” he observed.

One key moment of the commemoration of the International Day of Peace will be a Peace Pledge Signing at the rally as a commitment to ensuring peace around the 2014 elections and in other spheres of life.

The National Taskforce for the commemoration of the peace day comprises the Youth Consultative Forum (YCF), Young Politicians Union (YPU), National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM), UNDP, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).

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