Quasi religious body, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has threatened to pull out of the negotiations with the government unless the President Peter Mutharika’s team shows seriousness.
President Peter Mutharika appointed a government technical team to dialogue with PAC —a civil society, inter-faith organisation made up of the main Protestant, Catholic and Muslim faith groups in the country— on “matters of national interest.”
PAC chairman Reverend Felix Chingota has accused the government side of showing no seriousness in the talks.
“The government is showing no commitment. The issues we presented to the President have huge bearing on ordinary Malawians but the government seems not to care much,” he said.
Chingota said the last meeting was held on May 16 and agreed to meet before the elapse of two weeks.
“ The government team has been giving excuses,” said Chingota.
He said the meeting on May 16 was to set an agenda for subsequent meetings.
Chingota blamed executive arrogance for failure to hold further talks.
“We wanted to meet so that we deal with issues that are making Malawians suffer, but with the attitude of the government team, Malawians will continue to suffer,” he said.
He said the government says the next meeting will take place after parliament rises.
The government technical committee composition comprises Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Samuel Tembenu, who is also the chairperson and spokesperson of the government technical team; Dr. Collins Magalasi, Chief Economic Advisor and Executive Assistant to the President; Mavuto Bamusi, Special Advisor and Assistant to the President on NGOs and Civil Society; Dr. Peter Kumpalume, Minister of Health and Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, Chief Advisor to the President on Domestic Policy.
At its Fifth All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference in Blantyre in February.
PAC developed actionable resolutions on each thematic area, including governance, agriculture, economy and health. Delegates, notably opposition political parties—Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP)—called for Mutharika’s resignation and that call was inserted in a document present to Mutharika.
But government condemned PAC for being hostile towards Mutharika.
Father Peter Mulomole, PAC’s spokesperson, gave a newspaper interview on 27 April 2016 which he said President Mutharika seemed not to be aware of some critical issues .
“We had a tough exercise to discuss with the Head of State in a live broadcast given that he maintained from the outset that he had been transformative and that there was no need for some of the actionable solutions. And yet those issues have constantly been raised in all the three regions of Malawi,” Mulomole said.
He said: “ The President and his DPP may hate deadlines, but Malawians do not. So let the President not belittle what the conference has recommended. Malawians should not be taken for granted.”
Fr Mulomole said Malawi still lacks a listening and bold servant leadership.
But government spokesperson Patrici Kaliati 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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :