Minister Mtambo touts the passed Peace and Unity Bill as a milestone in Malawi’s pursuit for sustainable peace and development

The Minister of National Unity Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo has described the passing of the Peace and Unity Bill as a “big milestone” in Malawi’s pursuit for sustainable peace and transformative socioeconomic development of its citizens.

Mtambo observed that although Malawians have never been at war, the country is not spared petty conflicts and disagreements requiring the intervention of the government.

The minister made the sentiments in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

Mtambo–Peace and unity are a prerequisite for national development elsewhere

Nyasa Times sought to understand what difference citizens should expect after the enactment of the Peace and Unity Bill into law.

Mtambo said peace and unity are a prerequisite for sustainable socioeconomic development elsewhere in the world.

He said in Malawi, the law was overdue and that is passing is a big milestone for the country.

“I strongly disagree with those who say that we are not at war and that setting ups such instruments is a waste of resources. This is a very retrogressive and unpatriotic way of thinking,” he said.

“Though we have lived peacefully as a country, it has not been an absolute people. There are a lot of conflicts happening on the ground and we do not have to wait until we get into war to start setting up preventive mechanisms. My please to us all is that we should stop politicizing issues of national importance. Politics of hate and bitterness must come to an end. Congratulations to all lovers of peace and unity in this country,” added Mtambo.

He further stated that the passing of the Bill is “a big milestone toward the fulfilment of President Chakwera’s vision to unify Malawi as stipulated in his Tonse leadership philosophy of the Supa Hi5. Congratulations to HE for his commitment to national unity.”

In his ministerial statement on the Peace and Unity Bill in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Mtambo said since its establishment in July 2020, his ministry has been undertaking initiatives to lay the foundation towards establishing a firm and permanent strategic infrastructure for coordination and implementation of peacebuilding and conflict management efforts to promote and safeguard peace in this country.

He said core among the tasks, which the Ministry of National Unity has successfully undertaken, is facilitating the development of the Peace and Unity Bill.

The minister narrated that his ministry carries a crucial mandate and seeks to fulfil and achieve an agenda of uniting Malawians as one of the key pillars of the SUPER Hi5 Tonse Philosophy, which aligns well with Malawi 2063, which visualizes attainment of “A united, peaceful, patriotic and proud people that believe in their own abilities and are active participants in building their nation.”

“Once enacted into law, the Peace and Unity statute will provide for the establishment of a mechanism that will build and preserve peace and unity in Malawi. That sought mechanism includes establishment of the Malawi Peace and Unity Commission as a mandated public institution to lead national coordination of peace and unity activities as well as establishment of District Peace and Unity Committees to lead and drive the peace and unity agenda at the subnational level up to the grassroots.

“Today, I am pleased for this opportunity to table the Bill in this Honourable legislative House for deliberation and possible adoption into law,” said Mtambo.

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