By Lusekero Mhango
As the count down to the 21st of May tripartite election continues to draw closer the district peace committee (DPC) in Karonga say they are geared up to bringing peace initiatives in a bid to prevent political related violence from occurring in the volatile lakeshore district.
DPC’s sentiments comes as the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is set to officially open the campaign period for this year’s polls on the 19th of March.
Speaking in an interview following an interface meeting that National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) trust held with the members of the DPC, the committees Secretary Aaron Mwenelupembe, said the committee has already initiated peace related strategies in the district to make sure that the campaign period runs smoothly.
He said, as the DPC they have already engaged traditional leaders and the youths who are often used by selfish politicians to stir up violence in the district.
“Historically we know that Karonga in some constituency’s can be volatile during campaign periods and as the DPC we have already received reports in some constituency’s where certain candidates are being barred from certain areas but we can’t wait for them to escalate to violence hence we have put forward interventions to meet all political leaders in the district,” he said.
Mwenelupembe, therefore commended NICE for their guidance and financial support they have rendered to the committee since its establishment back in 2016. Saying without their assistance the dpc wouldn’t have accomplished half what they have achieved so far in peace conflict resolutions.
In his remarks NICE executive director Owen Mwalubunju expressed gratitude to the karonga district peace committee for the commitment they have shown in ensuring that peace should prevail in the district.
“There are a lot of conflicts in our communities due to among other things a lack of proper demarcation of responsibilities at different levels hence the establishment of the DPC is key towards bridging the gap because it has been observed in the past that most actors don’t understand how they can resolve conflicts when they arise,” he explained.
Due to its volatile nature Karonga district was chosen to pilot the district peace committee’s by the government under its national peace architecture along with Kasungu and Mangochi districts respectively.