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The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust in Malawi says it will seek the intervention of Commonwealth in high-level peace dialogue with the country’s political party leaders ahead of judgment in the post-election court case.

The Trust’s Executive Director, Ollen Mwalubunju, disclosed this to local journalists on Friday saying there was need to sensitize and prepare political party leaders and their followers to accept the court’s judgment on the elections case currently in court.

Mwalubunju noted that since the announcement of the May 21 presidential election results there has been a series of violent protests in the country resulting into deaths and loss of property.

The opposition parties in Malawi are challenging the victory of President Peter Mutharika in court and Mwalubunju feared that without preparing the party leaders and their followers properly for the judgment of the case, the country would be on fire.

“We will go to all the 28 districts in the country to engage political party leaders, chiefs, religious leaders and all community structures in dialogue for peace and we will make them sign an agreement to guard against any form of violence after the announcement of the judgment and thereafter,” explained Mwalubunju.

“But for presidents of the political parties we are going to engage the Commonwealth and leaders of the countries that went through similar experience such as Kenya to help us in facilitating a high level dialogue for peace with the presidents of the parties.” He added.

Hearing of the elections case in Malawi commenced in August at the country’s constitutional court in the capital, Lilongwe, and it ends in the first week of December.

Judgment is expected sometime in February, 45 days after the end of the hearing, according to the constitutional court.

Main opposition, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader, Lazarus Chakwera, and United Transformation Movement (UTM) leader, Saulos Chilima, dragged Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to court over the May 21 presidential election results.

The two want the results, which favored Mutharika as the winner of the presidential race, declared null and void citing rigging and mismanagement of the poll results by MEC Chair, Justice Jane Ansah.

Meanwhile, the NICE Public Trust has started their sensitization for peace in the country’s hotspots of violence before going to the rest of the districts across the country.

Malawi’s hotspots of political violence include the capital, Lilongwe, the main opposition bedrock where an angry mob killed a senior police officer in October in a deadly clash between the opposition party followers and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) followers.

Other hotspots for political violence include the western bordering district of Mchinji, the lake shore districts of Salima, Mangochi and Karonga, and Kasungu. Enditem


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