Malawi: PAC Elective Meeting Underway - to Tackle Malawi Post-Election Impasse

18 December 2019

Quasi-religious body, the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) elective meeting is underway in Blantyre amid speculation the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is pushing for its loyal supporter Reverend Billy Gama to be chairperson.

Outgoing PAC chairperson Rev Felix Chingota

Felix Chingota, who has completed a two-year mandate as chairperson said PAC is not a political grouping and will never form a political party.

Chingota told people to understand how PAC came into being, saying this would help them understand why PAC activities are political in nature.

He also shared with the delegates the criticism PAC received when the quasi-religious body issued a press statement that was critical of government over the Muslim/Christian fracas at Liwonde.

During the conference a paper titled "Political and Legal Scenarios in line with the Current Electoral Stalemate" will be presented.

The theme for the two day meeting is "Committing our Renewed Actions and Efforts Towards Electoral and Constitutional Reforms for the Socio-economic and Political Development in Malawi".

However, PAC secretariat, including Executive Director Robert Phiri could not disclose names of individuals vying for positions, saying "names will be announced or known to delegates when we are about to start the polls".

PAC Chairperson Very Reverend Dr Felix Chingota and Publicity Secretary Father Peter Mulomole are ineligible to contest having served two terms of office.

The conference comes at time when the body was engaging political parties leaders and civil society organizations, mainly Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to end the current political stalemate.

Opposition Malawi Congress Party and UTM are challenging and seeking nullification of the May 21 Presidential polls, which they claim, were marred irregularities.

PAC was founded in 1992 by the religious community and other pressure groups in Malaŵi to enter into a dialogue with Kamuzu Banda's Presidential Committee on Dialogue in the transition period from the one-party to the multiparty system of government in Malaŵi.

The body has since carried on as an umbrella organisation for the major faith communities represented in the country by the Muslim Association of Malawi, the Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi, the Malawi Council of Churches, the Evangelical Association of Malawi and the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.

It is also the national chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP) and it's mission statement is "to mobilise the general public through the religious community and other stakeholders in promoting democracy, development, peace and unity through civic education, mediation and advocacy".

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