Reconciliation, healing key to growing a new Malawi

Malawi is now on course to realise ‘a better Malawi for all’ as championed by President Lazarus Chakwera following government plans to set a National Healing and Building Programme soon.
The programme, said to be key in fostering socio-economic growth of not only the country but also the region at large, is slated to be a landmark initiative by the Ministry of National Unity.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity Elizabeth Gomani-Chindebvu confirmed the development in an interview, arguing that mending broken relationships and fostering peaceful existence of people irrespective of various affiliations are crucial for any nation aspiring for socio-economic progress.

Principal Secretary Elizabeth Gomani-Chindebvu
“Through the programme, government will intensify civic education on the promotion of peace across ethnic, political, religious and minority groups to avoid a recurrence of injustices suffered during one party era,” she said.
She further disclosed that the program will also have a component of compensation targeting those who suffered atrocities of post-1994.
She explained: “It’s common knowledge that when the National Compensation Tribunal which was mandated to receive and process claims, ended in 2004, it failed to settle 75 percent of cases, hence the new programme will help achieve closure on such issues.”
In his comments, Youth and Society Executive Director Charles Kajoloweka commended government for showing commitment to promoting peace-building, saying peace is a critical requirement for the attainment of Malawi’s development aspirations as stated in Malawi 2063 agenda.
Kajoloweka has, however, highlighted the need for transparency and accountability in the implementation of the compensation component.
He cited as unfortunate that some undeserving people benefited to the detriment of those who suffered during the decade-long existence of the National Compensation Tribunal, stretching from 1994-2004.
Government expects to roll out the programme in the next fiscal year, funds permitting.
According to the line ministry, government will need to cough out about K2.2 billion to effectively implement the National Healing and Building Programme in the country.
Meanwhile, the ministry has already embarked on holding a series of consultation meetings with various stakeholders including interfaces with the Civil Society and political party representatives.

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