Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Malawi’s influential religious body, will conduct a national stakeholders forum on inclusivity and federalism on November 24 and 25 in Blantyre.
The theme for the forum is ‘Enhancing a Common Understanding on Inclusivity and Federalism in Malawi’.
The event, according to PAC Executive Director Robert Phiri, will serve as a dialogue mechanism by allowing people who hold different views on federalism to share a common platform and also gain a deeper appreciation of the idea of devolution.
“PAC notes that there is a gap in appreciating how federalism fits into devolution exercise.
“The forum is one of the events in a process that has been initiated to assist ourselves in dealing with this matter.
“Noting that issues remains divisive in our contemporary discourse, PAC believes that Malawi has to take a process approach to appreciate issues surrounding devolution in general and federalism in particular, rather than rush to conclusions,” said Phiri.
Three topics have been identified and these are ‘The History of Devolution in Malawi’, Comparative Experience on Federalism’, and Decentralisation-State of Affairs in Malawi’.
“PAC is aware that the issue of federalism is an emotive matter. The event therefore will come up with conclusions by way of roadmap to define how the conversation on federalism should be taken forward towards finding a common ground for all Malawians,” he explained.
PAC has invited representatives from academia, faith community, political parties, Malawi Congress of Trade Union, Congoma, Law Society of Malawi, Judiciary, some Traditional Authorities, Civil Society, NGOGCN, Parliament and Executive Branch to participate in the deliberations.
“Due to budget constraints it is not possible to invite every stakeholder to the forum,” he stressed.