Vice President Saulos Chilima has said conflicts were a threat to peace as were political conflicts and should be treated with equal prominence.
Chilima was speaking on Saturday in Lilongwe during national prayers to mark the commemoration of the United Nations (UN) International Day of Peace.
“I have noted with concern that political conflicts are given a lot of prominence at the expense of social-economic conflicts which are equally destructive to peace,” he said, adding that building peace was everyone’s responsibility.
Chilima said although Malawi had a good history of peace the country could be proud of, there were still gaps to be filled in what he called structural conflicts, citing gender-based violence and inter-political party conflicts as examples.
He urged the different religious groups that were present at the function to reflect and find solutions to inter-region conflicts.
Chilima also stressed government’s commitment to promoting and maintaining peace, saying “government’s door is open and you can feel free to engage it at all levels through official communication.”
Also present at the function was the UN Resident Coordinator, Mia Seppo, who hailed Malawi as a peaceful nation, citing the non-violent 2014 tripartite election as a sign of the country’s maturity in democracy.
Seppo concurred with the Vice President on the need to work on structural conflicts such as inter- party conflicts, chieftaincy wrangles and gender-based violence which she said posed serious threats to peace.
Public Affairs Committee (PAC) organised the event under the theme ‘Building a Peaceful and Better Malawi through Inclusivity’.
Earlier, PAC Chairperson, the Very Rev Dr Felix Chingota spoke of the need to work collectively if peace was to be achieved.
He said the absence of inclusivity bred marginalization, and thus creating fertile ground for conflict.
Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party President Lazarus Chakwera was also in attendance.