This  aims  at  holding  leaders  accountable:

  1. Development of 19  issues raised with the Presidential Candidates  in 2014, followed by interface meetings
  2. Political Party responses on the 19 issues
  3. Interface meeting with Speaker of National Assembly – S64 and S65


Selected Key PAC Advocacy Interventions

Contentious issues  deliberated on from  PAC All-Inclusive  Stakeholders Conferences  have  been  a  stepping  stone  for most  stakeholders  to appreciate  issues, recommendations  and  specific  resolutions  submitted  to  the  Head  of  State  after the events. The  organisation has  achieved  a  certain level of  gravitas – having  the  power  of  convening stakeholders at  all levels. PAC maintained  national  dialogue  with  Government Technical  Team  through  which resolutions  were  adopted  for implementation. In 2017  government  attributed  implementation  of   PAC  resolutions such as – eenactment  of  the; Access to  Information  Act; Greenbelt Initiative Act  and  creation of  the Greenbelt  Authority; National  Planning Commission Act, and  establishment of  the National Planning  Commission – to PAC’s initiatives. Such positive strides were officially attributed by Minister of  Justice  and Constitutional  Affairs. Further, based on petitions to  the Head of  State and Speaker of  Parliament,  Government’s tabling  of  electoral  reforms  bill, and  lobbying Parliament Business  Committee to prioritize the bills – have been  registered  as  a  success  of  PAC’s  intervention , despite  the advocacy strategy  of  holding  peaceful  marches  was  postponed. Assertions  by  Daily  Papers  such  as  Nation   and Daily  Times (2017)  that  “PAC  gets thumbs  up but  analyst warn new bill details  pose fresh  threat” and  that “Government bows  down  to pressure – promises to  table  2 bills, 4  later”  (The Nation, 13 December, 2017  and  The Daily  Times, 6 December,  2017) demonstrated  appreciation despite  frustrations from the postponed  peaceful  marches.

Constitutional amendments ought to be  seen in light of AU policies. Section (95) (1) of  the AUTJ  on  benchmarks and standards for successful political and institutional reform  may include: “Constitutional and legal reforms based on inclusive and fully consultative processes…..”. In early 2000, UDF-led government hatched plans without consultation to amend Constitution to allow the President in Malawi to stay in office with an open tenure. In the pursuit of transitional justice, FBOs and CSOs fought against such plans. In 2002, Parliament debated a proposal to amend the constitution to remove the limit on the term of office of the President (Open Term Constitutional amendment). Section 83 (3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi deals with presidential terms. Between 1993–1994, Malawi drafted a new constitution enshrining a Chapter on human rights. In its original form, S83 (3) states that: ‘The President, the First Vice-President and the Second Vice-President may serve in their respective capacities a maximum of two consecutive terms’. The proposal tabled in the National Assembly was  therefore intended to repeal S 83 (3) by replacing it with the following words: ‘The President shall be eligible to hold office for more than one term of office of five years.’ After this defeat most political commentators thought it was the end of the proposed amendment to S 83 (3). In a surprising twist, rumours spread in the month of September 2002 that the Government intended to amend the same provision but now to enable any President of Malawi to serve a maximum of three consecutive terms (Third Term Constitutional Amendment) (Kanyongoro 2003, Ross 2004) . In a bid to  counter  such   moves,  national  consultation conference on constitutional matters, presentation of petition to the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee; and  issuance of press releases  were  carried out by  faith based organisations  and  CSOs. Maintenance of constitutional order and  the enhancement of  constitutionalism  significantly became the core business  of  religious bodies  in Malawi  through PAC initiatives,  noting that one of the tenets of  transitional justice is the  maintenance of  constitutional order for justice and peace to prevail.


Related Publications

    Political Party Responses

    Audio Clips – Interface Meetings with Presidential Candidates and Other Authorities

    Media Clips