The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has drilled Mwanza religious, traditional and political leaders on the importance of remaining calm before, during and after every election.
Last week, the commission hosted three separate post-election engagement meetings one with religious and traditional leaders, a second with electorates and another with various political party representatives. The meetings aimed at evaluating the previous elections.
According to Frackson Makwangwala who is project coordinator responsible for governance issues at CCJP of Blantyre Archdiocese, these meetings were as well aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence between victorious and losing candidates.
Makwangwala further said they thought of organizing these meetings considering the fact that Mwanza district is always marred with violence and tensions before, during and after almost every election.
He also said religious and traditional leaders were urged to refrain from favoritism claiming their political neutrality helps holding the elected representatives accountable and consolidating democratic principles.
The project coordinator further added that during both meeting participants were asked to outline challenges they faced during the previous elections and how they could avoid them in future polls.
“The meeting concentrated on the challenges they faced during the by-elections, the successes and finally post-election interventions these influential leaders can undertake to ensure that there is peace in the district.
“The meeting with party representatives was aimed at addressing inequalities between political parties that lost the elections and those that won, so that they should co –exist peacefully,” said Makwangwala.
Makwangwala added that these leaders are very significant in the post-election evaluation because they play a bigger role in sensitizing the communities on the significance of participating in the elections and election monitoring to ensure that it is free and fair.