By Vincent Gunde
Minister of National Unity, Hon. Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo says Malawi is committed to being a peaceful, united and stable country as illustrated by section 13 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.
Mtambo said Malawi, as a country, has enjoyed a relative but not absolute peace which people would yearn saying as a country they have experienced episodes of tensions that have emanated from differences in political ideology and affiliation.
He said Malawi has experienced differences in religious and traditional beliefs and belonging, land acquisition , chieftaincy ascendancy , property ownership and sports hooliganism, among others.
In his statement presented before Parliament on the Peace and Unity Bill in Malawi, Mtambo said since Malawi became a Republic in 1966, it has always been the desire of all the political regimes and leadership of the country to harness the peace in the country.
Mtambo said all the presidents that the country had since independence have preached peace and unity saying the recent past President of the Republic of Malawi, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika signed the country very first National Peace Policy in 2017.
He said the Peace Policy clarifies the institutional arrangements for coordination of building initiatives and strengthening multi-level capacity to deal with current and future threats to peace and unity in Malawi in a collaborative manner.
The Minister said the Peace and Unity Bill shall be a fulfillment of the aspiration not only for the current leadership of this country but all that have served before and those that will come in future.
“It is the aspiration of all Malawians, the past, present and future generations to have in place legislative instrument that promotes , safeguards and ensure effective coordination and implementation efforts to build and preserve peace in the country,’’ reads part of the statement.
He expressed hope that the enactment of this Bill will place Malawi amongst a handful of proactive countries that are leading in building national institutions or mechanisms and for the use of non-violent means of preventing, managing and resolving conflicts at both national and community levels.
According to Mtambo, the Bill is a product of the National Peace Policy adopted by the Government in August, 2017 after extensive stakeholder consultation.