The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Mangochi Diocese has advised traditional, political party and religious leaders in Mangochi to nurture peace ahead of the fresh presidential election slated for July 2 this year.
CCJP Mangochi Diocesan Secretary, Bruno Banda, made the call on Friday in the district when the organisation met the leaders on the need to foster peace during the campaign and voting period.
The meeting, was one of the series of activities the influential organisation (CCJP) with funding from Misereor of Germany has lined up to implement before people go to the ballot.
This is to respond to the messy environment the district manifests during election where people decide to go on rampage due to differences in political inclinations, religion and lack of understanding among each other.
In an interview, Banda challenged the leaders to be “stewards of peace”, reminding them that they carry a voice that command people.
“You wield more respect from your followers. Whatever you say to your followers is taken with caution. Therefore, promote peace,” he urged.
Banda bemoaned the violence the district registers during elections, saying it is uncalled for and retrogressive in the wake of democracy.
“At least from this fresh election; and of course, others coming ahead; let’s do our best as people of Mangochi to do everything possible by implementing initiatives that will nip violence in the bud,” he advised.
Leaders from United Democratic Front (UDF), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), UTM, and Malawi Congress Party (MCP), as well as religious and traditional leaders pledged to embark on a number of activities that will propagate peace, saying they want a “changed Mangochi”.
In his remarks, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chowe commended CCJP for the meeting, saying it reminded the leaders of what is expected to be done during the election.
“As for us the chiefs, we are eager and ready to give a platform to any political party that seeks a venue in our areas,” he promised.
On his part Mangochi Police officer-in-charge, Joseph Muthupa said the meeting was critical as it mentioned hotspots of violence within the district where the law-enforcers can concentrate in their pursuit to promote peace.
He, therefore, encouraged the participants to partner with police in their undertakings to help arrest evil activities.