Some of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) quasi-religious governance watchdog are in the process of forming a different grouping that will offer different approach to what the body is taking on national issues, Nyasa Times understands.
Former PAC chairperson Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe has accused the body saying its approach does not reflect on an organisation that is church-based but an opposition political party that is against President Peter Mutharika’s administration and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“As a church, I have always believed that our approach to issues should be peaceful by applying contact and dialogue. But if you look at the recommendations from the recent conferences, they are confrontational and aggressive, I don’t know whether that is a true representation of a church organisation,” he said.
Most of the recommendations made on Thursday by the delegates had timeframes of 30 days (one month) while one had 14 days (two weeks) for government to address.
The delegates even went further on some recommendations to say if they are not addressed “they may be forced to mobilise Malawians” and call for fresh elections.
Among others, the delegates want government to immediately open Chancellor College, trim down prices of maize, institute serious investigations into the murder of The Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) senior official Issa Njauju, establish a Public Appointments Commission, charge former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda for his alleged role in the Zambian maize imports saga.
Bvumbe criticised PAC saying it excluded from some of its mother bodies and member churches from the 5+1 All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference which was held in Blantyre
“We did not receive any communication or invitation to attend the conference. Maybe it’s because we are holding different views, but that shouldn’t be a reason,” Bishop Bvumbwe said to Nyasa Times.
Bvumbwe bemoaned Pac’s conduct, revealing they have not been given convincing answer on why they were excluded from the conference.
“All we were told is that there was not enough space for the delegates; but we are Pac members therefore in their planning they should have known that and plan according to the venue. Pac stands for integrity and shouldn’t exclude anyone because they have different views.”
Pac Executive Director, Robert Phiri insisted they sent the invitations to all their members.
“We sent invitations to all our members. And it was up to the members to choose who was going to represent at the conference, but as far as I know, the invitations were sent,” said Phiri.
On reports of a breakway grouping,Phiri said was not surprised with the move, arguing “It happens all the time. It’s nothing new. They have tried it before when we had another all-inclusive conference at Limbe Cathedral in Blantyre. So it’s nothing new.”
While Bishop Bvumbwe said he would not be surprised to see other religious groupings seeking new approach to current Pac’s political stand.
“I won’t be surprised if church leaders find Pac irrelevant. They might be compelled to find different ways to communicate. But it’s very unfortunate that Pac is being used as a vehicle for political parties to communicate their position. Pac is a vehicle for religious organizations,” said Bishop Bvumbwe.
Last week Pac’s mother bodies cautioned the executive committee not to use the All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference to advance its political agenda.
In a meeting that took place in Blantyre on Thursday, Pac mother bodies comprising of Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM), Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM), Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) and Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) demanded for an early Annual General Assembly, accusing the elected executive committee of behaving like a political party.
PAC brought change from one party s to multi-party system of government in 1992. It has at least 35 member organizations that form an Annual General Assembly which appoints and elects its 7 Board of Trustees and 9 Executive Committee members respectively.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :