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Public Affairs Committee’s all inclusive conference in June

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The Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has settled for June 6 and 7 for its 5+1 All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference, which would be held under the theme, ‘Reclaiming Our Future through Restoration of Public Trust’.

However, the venue for the conference is yet to be identified, according to Pac Executive Director Robert Phiri.

At a press briefing on April 6 where the quasi-religious body told Malawians that the Mutharika government has failed ‘dismally’, Chairperson Reverend Felix Chingota disclosed that Pac would hold the conference to enable Malawians discuss and decide their future.

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In a response to our questionnaire, Phiri said the secretariat is working on logistics and consulting some key sectors to be invited to the event.

“Malawi a n s know their problems already and therefore the conference is aimed at taking practical steps as far as advocacy is concerned. As regards whether previous recommendations have been implemented or not, what I can say is that the very reason that recommendations have not been implemented is a basis enough to gather delegates so that actionable steps are taken because it is up to Malawians to demand implementation,” Phiri said.

He also noted that Malawi is a country which avoids hot debate on contentious issues even if everyone is aware of the existing challenges.

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“It is the conviction of Pac that once people have ventilated anger and collectively debate issues in these fora, as an organisation, we are contributing to conflict prevention. No democracy survives without honest and constructive criticisms,” he said

Pac also says it will this time invite more interest groups and other associations rather than professionals.

“We do [appreciate] their [professionals] contribution to the debate but some elites may not take forward the advocacy we have designed on critical issues including the widely agreed issue of corruption, which has become an emerging issue and a pain in the neck among Malawians,” Phiri said.

Activist Billy Mayaya said in the past two and half years, the government has not accomplished much, hence the general populace has demanded that Pac should have this conference for members to discuss what is needed.

“We want the government to live up to the promises it made in its manifesto, we want issues of transparency and accountability to be addressed, corruption to be tackled among other issues,” Mayaya said.

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