Malawi faith group PAC warns against foul-mouthing politics

Malawi quasi-religious organization  the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) is  advising political leaders to desist from politics of mudslinging or name calling describing them as primitive.

PAC, a platform for different denominations advocating for different issues in Malawi,  offered the advice in a  in a communiqué issued Wednesday signed by Vice Chairperson Rev Dr Felix Chingota and Publicity Secretary Fr Peter Mulomole on their recently held Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the commercial capital Blantyre..

“We have also observed that with political parties as key players on the road to 2014 elections, campaigns have emerged based on personality issues. We would like to remind Malawians and their political representatives that the country needs issue-based political campaign so that socio-economic and political challenges that continuously dog this country are reversed,” said the statement.

They said name calling, castigating political competitors has proven not to change people’s lives ever since and has in turn been a source of electoral-related tension and violence.

Malawi quasi-religious organisation PAC
Fr Mulomole; PAC spokesman

More so, they said, it has been the source of ethnic and regional-based voting – vices that have taken Malawi to nowhere on the economic and prosperity path.

PAC  is  therefore calling upon all political leaders and their followers to shift their campaign approach from name-calling and castigating into issue-based campaigning.

“Let Malawians get leaders in 2014 at ward, constituency and national levels based on democratic tenets of quality leadership, legitimacy, responsiveness, accountability, and transparency in order to spearhead socio-economic development of this country” .

On preparations for the 2014 tripartite elections the communiqué says despite some commendable moves by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) like production of a draft new civic and voter education strategy, accreditation of civic and voter education providers and the preparation of the budget for the electoral processes, PAC officials have sadly noted that the preparations are, in part sluggish and uninspiring to some extent.

“While there are prospects of harmonizing the electoral related laws to suit the tripartite approach, it is our considered view that the harmonization process has been over-delayed without relevant and justifiable reasons. We also note that in the absence of an approved budget and actual resources for MEC to effectively execute its much needed roles, we, as a country, are preparing to create unnecessary pressure on many electoral stakeholders due to limited time for implementation and coordination of many electoral-related processes.

“We also realize that, as a nation, we still take elections as an event and not as a process hence our lack of effective planning and execution of relevant steps. This is a sad trend given that elections are an important process in consolidating our nascent democracy”.

PAC is the  oldest and most well-known nongovernmental organization in the country and also the national chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP)

Its mission statement is “to mobilize the general public through the religious community and other stakeholders in promoting democracy, development, peace and unity through civic education, mediation and advocacy”.

PAC led Malawi’s transition from one-party dictatorship to political plularism from 1992 to 1994 when the country’s first democratic elections in 30 years were held.

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