Malawi Govt Develops Pabwalo Online Platform to Bridge Communication Gaps Between Citizens and Duty-Bearers

8 January 2021

The Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity has developed an online Government-Citizens Engagement platform, which has been designed to foster greater communication and engagement between duty-bearers and rights-holders.

The Minister responsible, Timothy Mtambo, told Nyasa Times on Wednesday that the platform, which has been named Pabwalo, which will allow two-way communication on national issues between the people and the government.

Mtambo disclosed that the Pabwalo civic engagement platform will be launched before the end of January 2021.

He said they are also undertaking a number of initiatives, including development of the first-ever five years' strategic plan for the ministry.

"I am happy that my first preoccupation in Civic Education was to spearhead the finalization of the National Civil Education Policy. I am also glad that in my 100 days in office, I led the push for re-introduction of Civics education in primary school curricula," said the minister.

The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), together with Domasi College of Education (DCE) and the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE), are implementing a Civics and Citizenship Education project.

According to Mtambo, the process for the implementation of the project has reached an advanced stage.

He further stated that, over the past 100 days, his ministry has extensively carried out advocacy and civic awareness in the Southern, Northern and Central regions aimed at urging communities to desist from gender-based violence, child abuse and mob justice.

Mtambo said the approach follows a series of rape, defilement and mob justice [witchcraft killing] cases whish have bedevilled the country.

"Of specific reference is the collaboration we had with NICE and Times Group where, every Wednesday, we had a phone-in programme aired on TV and radio for one hour from 5:00 to 6:00PM. The programme tackles a number of issues with concentration on emerging issues such as mob justice, rape and defilement among others. The discussants include officials from Government, private sector as well as civil society," he said.

"Furthermore, under NICE, over 9000 volunteers have conducted door-to-door campaigns against rape and defilement. Both national and community radios (30) have been utilized. A total of over 40 soap operas on the MBC platform of Namajiga, Mzeru Nkupangwa and Sewero la Sabata lino have been developed and utilized," added the minister.

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