A political analyst has described as a missed opportunity for unity the absence of President Peter Mutharika and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima at Public Affairs Committee (PAC) initiated peace prayers.
The prayers were held Saturday at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe to ask divine intervention ahead of the ruling on the election court case.
An associate professor of public administration at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi, Happy Kayuni said the absence of the two key leaders during the prayers sent a wrong message that the two politicians are not willing to see change.
“Their presence would have sent a message to their supporters and other people that they are committed to promoting peace,” said Kayuni.
He continued:“Even if they inwardly did not believe in the event, they should have attended. That would have sent a powerful message – that they care about peace and they care about Malawi. In politics such gesture matter a lot and whatever the reason, this is a lost opportunity.”
Vice president Everton Chimulirenji represented the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at the prayers which were also attended by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera.
But organisers of the prayers said even without Mutharika and Chilima, the purpose of the event was served.
PAC Chairperson, Reverend Dr Felix Chingota said the prayers were organized to foster peace, upholding of rule of law and religious co-existence.
He said after the court ruling violence should not be an option because the ruling can go in favor of only one party and not both.
Chingota said this was the time that Malawians should call upon God to intervene so that the public should respect the rule of law.
He said despite any differences people mihht have, peaceful mechanisms have to be employed for dialogue to take place whenever there are misunderstandings.
” These prayers call upon respecting one another, the court case should not be the end for everything, interactons among different people of political backgrounds has to go on for the development of the country,” he said.
UN resident coordinator Maria Jose Torres said there was need for Malawians to learn settle disputes peacefully.
In attendance were other presidential contenders in the May 21 elections; Umodzi Party President John Chisi, leader for Mbakuwaku Movement for Development Peter Kuwani and Independent candidate Reverend Kaliya.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :