A group of young Malawians, calling themselves ‘Youth for Peace’ have partnered with the established NGO — Civil Rights Advocacy Centre (CRAC) — to advocate a campaign for a violence-free 2019 Tripartite elections period.
Youth for Peace Project Coordinator Hezrone Tung’ande said this initiative shall be done prior, during and after the forthcoming tripartite elections, targeting the youth since they are the most vulnerable because they are used in such acts by politicians.
This is almost the same message that the country’s Vice-President Saulos Klaus Chilima alluded to in his statement last week when he condemned the unfortunate incident that took place when President Peter Mutharika was making a speech at the opening of the 2018/19 budget session of Parliament.
Chilima described as barbaric the attacks on Members of Parliament Patricia Kaliati and Noel Masangwi as they entered the Parliament building in Lilongwe on Friday as Mutharika was addressing the august house as well as the setting ablaze of MP Bon Kalindo’s car at his house.
“When we voted for multiparty democracy in 1993, after a gallant fight against the brutality that existed at the time, we said goodbye to a dark age,” Chilima said in a statement prepared by his PR Pilirani Phiri. “We, as the people of Malawi, should not, therefore, allow any individual or group of individuals masquerading as democrats to take us back to the era of death and darkness in pursuit of their own selfish interests.
“The acts of the last 36 hours are primitive, uncivilized and satanic and have no space in modern Malawi…The engine of our country’s potential are the youth, considering that 64 per cent of the population are aged 24 years and below.
“Our youth should not be manipulated to indulge in activities that destroy their future. The Vice President is appealing to the youth to reject any attempts by anyone to use them for violence. The youth are a force of good and must be helped to focus on building the future of our nation.
“They should not allow themselves to be used as agents of terror. Dr. Chilima’s message to the youth: your lives are worth far much more than the pocket change that is offered by political thugs who mastermind such callousness.”
But this was not a cue from Youth for Peace campaign as Tung’ande says they have been thinking on these lines all along and they now appreciate the stance made by the Veep and will support him.
“We have been observing most violent cases around have the youths as culprits yet they’re the pillars of development and the future for this nation,” he says. “What type of a nation are we building if we use them for violence?
“Mostly these things happen due to lack of knowledge of our potential towards making this nation a better place hence we couldn’t just sit watch the whole mess. We have planned to engage prominent youths to help spread the word through entertainment and sports, again we are planning to come up with radio and tv programs on the same, the core objective is to advocate the impact of violence on development taking our first role on the forthcoming tripartite elections.
“And to communicate acceptable means through which dispute are settled. Right now we only have partnered with CRAC for they have been in the same path for long enough to guide us through proper channels and protocols required.
“We are setting up social media page, website, brochures, flyers and a unique design of a fabric, be it national wear, golf shirts and zitenje, that will have all party logos to reflect unity, again will have stickers for those with vehicles or shops to paste and help spread the message.
“Again we are arranging for sporting activities where teams will be approached and fix a date for games, be it football, netball or basketball, as well as indoor games like pool, bawo, darts etc,” Tung’ande says.
He says they are a team of eight of four men and four women.
CRAC, led by Executive Director Staphiel Kungota, is a non partisan, independent NGO involved in reserach, information dissemination and civic education in malawi.
It carries out civil and political rights awareness in social, health, education, environment, economy security and justice sectors in a fair, practical, realistic and relevant manner for the poor, aged, youth, disabled and the unprivileged in society.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :