The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has called on the people of Balaka to tolerate one another in order for peace to prevail during the Fresh Presidential Election campaign underway in the country.
The call was made on Wednesday in Balaka at an interface meeting the commission organized at Hossana Hall in the district.
The interface was organized to explore causes of violence in the district, why people get involved in violence, who benefits and who suffers the damage at the end of the day.
Speaking in an interview at the end of the stakeholders’ engagement, Director of Social Development of Mangochi Diocese under which CCJP operates, Fr. Ted Chigamba, said CCJP is optimistic that the consultation with the stakeholders will bear fruits because the district has already shown restraint that it can maintain peace.
“This is very possible because the district did not register any violent activities in the 2019 tripartite elections and today’s meeting has discussed issues that were likely to degenerate into violence and we have agreed ways of resolving issues amicably,” said Chigamba.
He urged the participants to talk the walk, saying they would be accepting political violence and chaotic elections if they disregard the resolutions agreed upon during the interface.
Making his speech after the discussions, Traditional Authority Nsamala advised politicians to desist from making sweeping statements portraying that chiefs rally behind the particular political grouping where they are present.
“It is sad that when chiefs grace political gatherings a conclusion is made that we have been palm oiled when it’s our obligation to welcome visitors who have come in our community and tell them to feel at home. I don’t think that makes us look to have belonged to a particular political party,” said Nsamala.
He called upon political leaders to exhaust all procedures laid down that govern how to book a ground for conducting a rally so that confusions over who are supposed to use political venues should become history in the district.
During the interface, the police were asked to stop favouring the ruling party while chiefs and faith leaders were told not to show political sides.
Journalists were also advised against being partisan while political parties were told to embrace and uphold democratic principles and rule of law.
The meeting drew together politicians, faith groups, the civil society, chiefs, the police and officials from the district council.