The Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), one of the mother bodies of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC), has disputed that the PAC board called for the resignation of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
MCC board chairperson Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe disputed the resignation call during a press briefing in Lilongwe on Wednesday in support of Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment Goodall Gondwe who told the media that PACâ€™s final resolution did not call for the President to go.
But Bvumbweâ€™s stand is in sharp contrast to PAC publicity secretary Maurice Munthaliâ€™s explanation of the final resolutions adopted by the board.
In an interview to clarify his position, Bvumbwe maintained that the PAC board has not called for the resignation of the President.
â€œI am speaking as chairperson of MCC, one of the mother bodies of PAC. Those issues about the resignation or the 60 or 90 days came out of sectoral meetings, but the plenary did not discuss or agree on them. If you look at the final document even the board did not make such a demand,â€ said Bvumbwe in an interview.
He said the issue about the resignation only followed statements from some PAC board members to the effect that the board would not subtract the voices from the delegates.
Responding to a question during the Lilongwe press conference, Gondwe disputed that PAC had called for the resignation of the President.
â€œEven the final communiquÃ© on the resolution from the board did not say anything on the resignation of the President,â€ he said.
However, resolution 26 on the recommendations from the PAC board carried in the final communiquÃ© obtained from PAC secretariat reads: â€œAt the conference there were calls that the current government should resign. Failing which, a referendum must be called to give a chance to the nation to express its mind on the matter.â€
The conclusion of the communiquÃ© reads: â€œThe need to repeal the bad laws and to cooperate with IMF and other development partners is of urgency with the prevailing crisis.
â€œOtherwise, with the current crisis, Malawians may exercise their right to withdraw the trust bestowed upon the current regime in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of Republic of Malawi (S.12)(111).â€
In an interview on Thursday, Munthali said the two statements implied that if the President would not move to solve the current crisis, then the best he could do is to resign or call for a referendum.
He said the PAC board decided to take out the number of days to give a chance to Malawians to monitor on their own the progress of the issues raised after the conference.
He agreed with Bvumbwe that the resignation was not discussed in the plenary of the conference, but he said the PAC board looked at all the recommendations
PAC is an interfaith organisation with membership from MCC, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, the Evangelical Association of Malawi, the Muslim Association of Malawi and Quadria Association of Malawi.
It has 24 member organisations and four associate members.