In Malawi, the Public Affairs Committee, known as (PAC), is reportedly divided on how to handle the mediation efforts between president Bingu Wa Mutharika and former president Bakili Muluzi. The PAC, which comprises members of all religious bodies in the country, says it is concerned about the political tension in the country and wants to bring it down.
Father Boniface Tamani is the chairman of the Public affairs committee. He said PAC finds it expedient to resolve the impasse between President Mutharika and former President Muluzi.
“The organization was able to see that in the country, we have a lot of political tensions. And we thought that these tensions could be a bit eased and to also avoid violence in the future by actually asking the different politicians to sit down and discuss or talk,” Tamani said.
He said PAC has met with both President Mutharika and former President Muluzi.
“Basically, what we have done so far is that we have twice gone to President Bingu Wa Mutharika and we have also seen former President Muluzi. I would say that we were lobbying them for them to see that there was the need to sit down and talk because of the tensions and different grievances that they have. When we met with them they said whatever they didn’t like and so there was the need to sit and talk,” Tamani pointed out.
Tamani said PAC’s meeting with President Mutharika and the former president was successful.
“I would say that all our meetings were very good meetings in the sense that even though they had issues to raise, they were generally agreeable to the idea of sitting down together and ironing out their differences,” he said.
Tamani said PAC would be successful in bringing down the political tension between President Mutharika and former President Muluzi.
“For us, we believe that they may not sort out all their differences, but certainly some differences can be sorted out. And sometimes when you just meet and talk, you can actually ease the tension. The talking itself is a healing process… so when they sit down and discuss some of those tensions can be ironed out,” he noted.
Tamani said PAC has its purpose and would not be swayed by any accusations.
“Basically, what we are doing is just being clear in terms of our objectives and we are asking them (President Mutharika and former President Muluzi) whether they think the idea that we have is correct… so its more or less a program which they themselves feel involved in. and we are saying they are free to decide who they think the mediators should be,” Tamani said.
He said Malawians have embraced PAC’s effort to ease the political tension in the country.
“I have met with a number of politicians as well as ordinary Malawians. They seem to be very, very happy with our initiative and are encouraging us to go ahead with our plans. I think Malawians are looking forward to the peace initiative because genuine Malawians who love their country are not happy about the tensions which are derailing development and would want to see the tensions eased,” Tamani said.