The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) says it has constituted a taskforce to resolve the billboard fracas that was removed and later restored with altered message at Maselema in Blantyre.
This was revealed by Minister of Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo after meeting PAC officials yesterday.
“During the meeting PAC shared a preliminary report on how it has resolved the Muslims’ billboard issue in Blantyre. Apart from successfully diminishing the tension over the specific conflict between the Evangelical Association of Malawi and Muslim Association of Malawi concerning the billboard issue, PAC informed that it has instituted an inclusive taskforce mandated to advance dialogue for a lasting peaceful co-existence,”
“In that regard, PAC has committed to vigorously engage the two conflicting parties and make an analysis of the entire process constituting the dialogue initiative and provide recommendations to each of the parties concerned. My Ministry has also been assured that it will receive the report thereto, and the same shall be relayed to the nation to stay informed,” Mtambo says.
The Minister says PAC also raised an issue of Hijabs in public and private schools, in which Muslim girls are prohibited from wearing them.
“The Muslim community argues that wearing of hijabs is part of the Muslim culture for ladies and an inclusive society must not segregate against the culture. PAC appealed to the Ministry to be at the center stage in protecting the space for all citizens to enjoy their constitutional freedoms and rights. PAC highlighted that in order to successfully address the issue, there is need for collaboration by key stakeholders including Government,” he says.
According to Mtambo, progressively, Government is a committed stakeholder, which is willing to interface with the technical team that PAC has been established to look into this.
“An MOU will be developed between PAC and the Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity as part of collaboration efforts. In that vein, I committed to form a citizen engagement platform, which will act as a rostrum for inclusive policy generation for sustainable implementation,” he says.