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Pac moves in on Muslim billboard saga

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Public Affairs Committee (Pac) is engaging Muslim and Christian communities in the county to try and resolve misunderstandings surrounding a billboard in Blantyre, allegedly propagating the Muslim faith.

This comes after Minister of Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo asked the quasi-religious organisation to intervene in the matter.

Bishop Gilford Matonga, Pac’s Publicity Secretary, said the committee’s executive board has already met and came up with a taskforce to handle the issue.

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“Indeed, the Minister sent a request for Public Affairs Committee and we have accepted that responsibility. What we have come up with is a taskforce that is supposed to engage all the concerned entities, in this case, Blantyre City Council, the Evangelical Association of Malawi and the Muslim Association of Malawi.

“We have come up with a roadmap for this special committee to get input from these organisations and come up with a way forward,” he said.

Matonga said the issue has to be resolved as a matter of urgency, saying religious intolerance is dangerous for the country.

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“We need to resolve this issue as soon as possible because religious intolerance is unacceptable in Malawi, especially if you look at the fact that Muslims, Christians and people of other religious affiliations have co-existences since independence.

“We know that we have the right to propagate for our religious beliefs but we also need to understand that when we do so, we do not infringe on the rights of the others,” he said.

In the letter addressed to Pac Chairperson, Mtambo said he approached Pac considering that both Islamic and Christian faith communities are represented in the quasi-religious organisation.

“Government would, therefore, like to call upon you, as the first port of call, to urgently intervene and initiate a dialogue meeting aimed at achieving quick diffusion of the apparent tension with the view to amicably resolve the matter at hand.

“My office is ready and willing to render any assistance that your office may require in executing this noble and urgent duty. By copy of this correspondence, my office hereby confirms my attendance to the proposed dialogue meeting – if need be,” reads the letter in part.

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