The collapse of dialogue between the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and the government over issues the quasi-religious group is as a result of an infighting within the Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) where some old guards led by senior ministers George Chaponda and Kondwani Nankhumwa and Henry Mussa who form part of the infamous midnight six have been protesting the chairmanship of Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Samuel Tembenu, Nyasa Times can reveal.
Apparently it is said that these ministers wield alot of power and President Peter Mutharika can not do without them.
These ministers, Nyasa Times has learnt, brag within the party that the President found them in the party and therefore owes them alot of respect.
An inside source close to the government side told Nyasa Times that while there has been willingness from the Tembenu led team from government, the old guards who feel Tembenu is too new to lead such a team on behalf of government.
But government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati said government has “too many things to do” and that PAC meeting is not the only thing they intend to focus on.
The source, however, said meetings between government and PAC have had to be frustrated when all was set because the old guards still want to control the events.
“The truth of matter in the deadlock is that some DPP old guards are not happy that the President appointed Tembenu as chair of the government team,” said the source who advised for anonymity.
She said that as long as Tembenu remains chair with the people like Mavuto Bamusi and Collins Magalasi in the team those meetings can not go far.
The source said all the members but Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba are new to the DPP politics and can not be allowed to lead the team.
She added, some of the old guards who apparently are cabinet ministers have had problems with Tembenu who they call a “politician without a constituency”.
President Peter Mutharika appointed the team in line with the outcome of an audience he had with PAC on April 21 2016 where the religious body presented to him resolutions from its February 2016 Fifth All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference.
PAC—a civil society, inter-faith organisation made up of the main Protestant, Catholic and Muslim faith groups in the country— developed actionable resolutions on each thematic area, including governance, agriculture, economy and health.
Meanwhile, Kaliati, who is also minister of information, communication, technology and civic education has accused the media of being “overzealous” with dialogue.
But Malawi’s flagship newspaper, The Daily Times in an editorial comment on Wednesday said government should not blame the media.
“Dont blame the media”, reads a title of the editorial opinion which said whatever role politicians think the media should play, the rightful role that the media strives to fulfil is to inform the nation and make sure that everyone has the right information to actively participate in governance issues.
PAC suspended the talks last month, accusing the government negotiating team of lacking commitment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :