Newly elected Public Affairs Committee (PAC) executive yesterday pledged to lobby Parliament to pass the Electoral Reforms Bills it rejected in 2017.
The quasi-religious grouping’s re-elected vice-chairperson Osman Karim said this in an interview yesterday after PAC held an election at its annual general meeting (AGM) at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre.
He said the proposed electoral reforms provide a solution to the current political situation in the country.
Said Karim: “That [electoral reforms] is a clear vision for PAC because we feel that the issues we are going through now, if we were successful with the 50+1 and other reforms we pushed for, maybe we couldn’t have been in this situation.
“We think that going forward, the answers to some of the queries that we have are in the reforms.”
On the issue of post-election dialogue, he also expressed optimism that the new executive will achieve what was set out by the outgoing committee as regards to the talks.
He said the new and outgoing executive committee members will share notes on emerging issues and map the way forward.
In a separate interview, outgoing chairperson the Very Reverend Felix Chingota also said he expects the new committee to revive the electoral reforms.
During the election, Karim retained his position while Monsignor Dr Patrick Thawale was voted as new chairperson, replacing Chingota whose term of office expired; hence, was not eligible to contest. Thawale competed against Reverend Father Willard Kamandani while Karim faced the Reverend JJ Gondwe.
Reverend Father Mark Mkandawire retained the position of board secretary after beating Bishop Alinafe Kalemba and the Reverend Innocent Chikopa.
Bishop Gilford Matonga has taken over from Father Peter Mulomole as publicity secretary following the expiry of Mulomole’s term while the position of treasurer went to the Reverend Dr Davidson Chifungo.
Eexcutive members are the Reverend Matilda Matabwa, Agness Kamoto, Sheikh Jaffar Kawinga and the Reverend Maureen Tinenenji.
During the meeting, delegates called on PAC to emphasise its role of being prophetic and not to be seen as partisan.
In his contribution, Sheikh Dinala Chabulika said PAC should condemn both the opposition and the government while CCAP Blantyre Synod general secretary the Reverend Billy Gama said PAC should take a direction that will contribute to peace-building of this country.
But in his presentation, politican-cum-analyst Humphrey Mvula asked PAC members to desist from washing dirty linen in public. He said whenever there are issues, they should discuss internally.
He observed that PAC had some members who were close to government, but noted that they fail to play an advisory role.
Said Mvula: “Instead of being very good talking to the media, why not meet and talk about issues and resolve them. It hurts me when I hear a member talking ill of PAC. That’s being mercenary.” PAC was initially formed in 1992 by several religious groups to facilitate dialogue during the transition from one-party rule to multiparty democracy.