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Public Affairs Committee maintains top leadership

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The Public Affairs Committee (Pac) Tuesday re-elected Reverend Felix Chingota and Father Peter Mulomole as its Chairperson and Publicity Secretary, respectively.

At an Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Blantyre, Chingota went unopposed while Mulomole scooped 51 votes against Sheikh Dinala Chabulika who got 19 votes.

In his acceptance speech, Chingota said his re-election was a reflection of the trust that the organisation has in him and how he has run it in the first three years.

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“It’s encouraging that people can notice how I have run Pac. The three years have not been excellent but I can say I run it fairly. I thank all the delegates for entrusting us with this positions,” Chingota said.

Chingota said he is going to follow up on government on the actionable issues that Pac presented last time and disclosed that the religious grouping will meet government next month to hear progress on the issues.

The AGM also elected Osman Karim of Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi, Reverend Father Mark Mkandawire, from the Catholic Church and Father Emmanuel Makalande— Anglican — as Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

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Speaking to reporters before the elections, Mulomole urged Malawians to be active and demonstrate against corruption that is tearing Malawi apart.

“Recently, we saw the church mobilised masses and successfully demonstrated against the purported Abortion Bill. Why can’t Malawians do the same and demonstrate against the growing corruption in the country? They can’t leave everything to Pac to do confront government. Where are the people?” Mulomole said.

He was reacting to a presentation that social commentator and economist, Henry Kachaje, made at the AGM titled “Corruption: Impact on Political and Social- Economic Landscape in Malawi.

Kachaje challenged the religious grouping to do a soul-searching and find a way of ending corruption in the country just as the bishops did in 1992 to end the one party rule.

“The economic environment in the country is difficult and the upright business people find it tough to operate. As a result, they resort to some vices in order to survive thereby losing their moral standing.

“This has made corruption not spare the business sector. The nation is rotten to the core from the public service to the private sector,” Kachaje said.

He indicated to the delegates the correlation between corruption and development. He said for every 1 percent rise in corruption, development goes down by 0.7 percent. He illustrated the point with pictures of some roads that have been constructed in the country lately but are slowly wearing out.

“There are substandard roads and bridges that have been constructed across the country. The contractors have no basic engineering skills but corruption enabled them get the contracts. You can see the results; the roads are developing faults and in the next two seasons, they will be nonexistent,” he said.

Government has come under fire for failure to fight corruption, a point President Peter Mutharika has dismissed in public podiums.

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