National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust has intensified its initiative to ensure peace in the post-election political tension by reaching out to 16 of the country’s 28 districts.
With funding from the European Union, Nice Trust is engaging influential people across the country ahead of judgement in the presidential elections nullification petition expected to be delivered within 45 days from December 20.
In an interview yesterday, Nice Trust media and communications officer Grace Hara confirmed that to date they have trained leadership in civil society organisations (CSO), the clergy and community leaders on how best they can promote peace after the Constitutional Court judgement.
She said: “We want these leaders and people to know how they can handle the court outcome on the elections. We are telling people that if they feel the ruling will not be favourable to them, they should use legal means to settle the dispute.
“So far we have gone to 16 districts. At least people have information and our expectation is that they will use the knowledge and skills they have gained to deal with the situation.”
Since Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) announced the presidential election results on May 28, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has been holding a series of nationwide demonstrations demanding the resignation of MEC chairperson Jane Ansah and her team for allegedly presiding over a flawed electoral process.
The demonstrations heightened political tensions with some people getting killed and property and buildings being damaged.
Nice and Public Affairs Committee (PAC) have been urging political party leaders to tell their supporters that they should accept the court judgement to ensure peace prevails in the country.
In a recent interview, UTM Party spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga said the party will ensure its supporters are peaceful. He said they went to court to seek justice which will help preserve peace.
On his part, MCP spokesperson the Reverend Maurice Munthali cautioned Nice Trust to avoid instilling fear and anxiety that violence was imminent, adding that once justice is served, the citizenry has no reason to resort to violence.
Governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who is also Minister of Homeland Security, said in an earlier interview that his party will ensure there is peace after judgement.
PAC has since said it supports the Nice Trust peace-building initiative to prepare Malawians to accept the Constitutional Court ruling in the May 21 2019 Presidential Election case.
Some of the districts they have gone to are Salima, Nkhata Bay, Karonga, Mangochi, Zomba, Chiradzulu, Chikwawa, Phalombe, Dowa, Rumphi, Mzuzu and Blantyre.
Nice is currently mobilising communities, including religious and political leaders, encouraging them to ensure peace and political co-existence amid divisions and political violence in the aftermath of the post-elections.