The Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), noting that the political shoulder-pushing has already started, and that there are both political and electoral process challenges, has organised a four day Conference on Consolidation of Democratic Governance and the Electoral Process in Malawi: The Role of the Church, to be held in Mangochi at Sun n’ Sand from the 22nd to the 25th of April, 2014, supported by the Norwegian Embassy through the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).
The overall objective of the Conference, which will bring together religious leaders from Malawi’s faith mother bodies, including the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), the Quadria Moslem Association of Malawi (QMAM) and the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM), is to build consensus on how the Church and political parties can best exercise their mandates and manifestos in order to benefit the Malawian community and also to safeguard the country’s democratic governance.
Political party officials, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), development partners, academia, and the media will formulate part of the high level invited participants.
“In particular, the Conference aims at scoring for objectives, which are: to share political democratic governance information on experiences from other countries and debate the potential of the same in Malawi; define and re-assert the role of the Church in an electoral process; consolidate intra-party relations and initiatives within and outside electoral processes; and develop and commit to the roadmap for initiating sound inter and intra-party politics towards good democratic governance and acceptable conduct of electoral processes in Malawi.
“At the end of the Conference a Communiqué committing to the adherence of democratic governance by all stakeholders and to a peaceful conduct in the electoral process will be developed and signed by those present,” explains Rev. Dr. Osborne Joda-Mbewe, General Secretary of the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC).
Presentations will be made by high level facilitators from the religious, electoral, civil society, donor partner, academic, and international expertise drawn from Malawi, South Africa, and Botswana.
The Conference will help ascertain free and fair, transparent and accountable, credible electoral processes and results, and also give the Church an opportunity to provide a Prophetic direction as to why Malawi needs a political atmosphere that is rich in positive democratic governance for the benefit of all.
Lately ugly scenarios of violence at Goliati in Thyolo and in Karonda districts have prompted the church to take a strong part in calling for renewed commitment to a fair and peaceful electoral process.
Malawi is in the process of conducting its first Tripartite Elections come May 20th, 2014. Political parties and independent aspirants are therefore conducting political campaigns towards winning Presidential, Parliamentary and Councillor seats, all geared to take lead in the democratic governance of Malawi as a nation.
About sixty participants drawn from across Malawi will participate.