Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has described the reasons given by the Government Technical Team (GTT) for the two sides’ failure to meet as lame.
PAC spokesperson Father Peter Mulomole said in an interview Tuesday there has been little progress in the two sides’ discussions after a meeting with President Peter Mutharika ended in a deadlock.
He said: “There has not been any seriousness from the Government Technical Team. Until there is seriousness shown from them, then we may consider re-opening the dialogue.”
But GTT member Mavuto Bamusi, who is also presidential adviser on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs), said they expected PAC to appreciate that the meetings cannot proceed without some of their members present.
He said: “Some of our members are Cabinet ministers and cannot afford to leave Parliament at this time. Our chairperson, Samuel Tembenu, is a Cabinet minister and he cannot suspend his duties to come to the dialogue.”
But Mulomole said PAC believes they do not have to wait for Parliament to rise to proceed.
On his part, political analyst Mustafa Hussein said if the government’s position was in good faith, PAC should understand.
He said the dialogue route was important; hence, the need for seriousness from both parties.
PAC and GTT opened dialogue after the interfaith religious grouping presented recommendations from its Fifth All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference held in Blantyre in February to the President.
From the recommendations, PAC developed actionable resolutions on each thematic area, including economy, agriculture and health.
Delegates, notably opposition political parties—Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP)—called for Mutharika’s resignation. However, when the PAC board analysed and consolidated the proposals, it left out the resignation calls in its final 21 resolutions.
Later, it transpired that while PAC had skipped the resignation call in its oral presentation during the audience with the President, the quasi-religious body’s text carried the resignation call, a development that angered government with Minister of Information, Communications Technology and Civic Education Patricia Kaliati hitting at PAC for inserting the recommendation in its final text to Mutharika. n