The Public Affairs Committee (Pac ) has disclosed that the planned December 13 protests will not only focus on the six Electoral Reforms (Amendment) Bills but various issues bordering on transformational leadership.
Pac Executive Director, Robert Phiri, told The Daily Times in an emailed response that, during the protests, Pac will also present a petition to the government expressing its position on the state of affairs in the country.
“The main message will still focus on reforms. However, placards will reflect on various issues bordering on transformational leadership as a gap, given that commitments made by the country’s leadership will not have been met by December 13 2017,” Phiri said, adding, “Take note that Pac continues to monitor the political developments which help us to shape our messages.”
The country is experiencing the worst electricity crisis, with people and businesses going for more than 24 hours without power, rising commodity prices and political violence.
Pac on Wednesday said that the protests would go on despite government announcing that they would circulate three Electoral Reforms [Amendment] Bills in the House yesterday. The government yesterday circulated three out of the six bills.
Phiri said, at district level, the protests are being organised by Malawi Council of Churches, Evangelical Association of Malawi and Episcopal Conference of Malawi.
“As of now, most requirements are being put in place, messages are being translated to Chichewa. We have identified the colour red as that to be worn on this particular day by the marchers. Those who do not have red colours are still invited. What I can say is that we have had tremendous support more than we anticipated,” he said.
Phiri also disputed reports that the influential grouping is influenced by some political parties in the country in order to frustrate the government.
“The marches are not driven by political ends but the common good. No political party can influence Pac. We do not seek sympathy from any political player in a bid to advance the common good. Religious institutions such as churches and mosques are existing institutions with their followers. We believe in our values and we stand by them,” he said.
The protests have been endorsed by Catholic bishops, Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian and other leading faith groups.
Meanwhile, 60 civil society organisations are said to have joined Pac in the scheduled demos.