UNDP Chief Technical Advisor-elections Richard Cox made the call in Mponela, Dowa where the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) is holding a regional meeting for various political party members on building capacity for peace through collaborative leadership and dialogue.
Cox says as an agency that stands for peace in the world they deemed it imperative to arrest any occurrence of violence through provision of relevant knowledge to party cadres. He says respecting differences of opinion among parties is a sign of democratic maturity within a country.
‘We’ve been reading rhetoric in newspapers on the political class and I think it’s important for the United Nations to remind everybody that there is no room for political violence in a country that is practising multiparty politics. And it’s a sign of political democratic maturity if political opinions and differences are respected,’ said Cox.
According to UN technical Advisor the process of bringing together political party members to a dialogue came into being after a series of events taking place on the political scene.
And Executive Director for Centre for multiparty democracy CMD Kizito Tenthani observed that Malawians are peaceful people but election time can sometime be tricky. Tenthani says this is why CMD brought the party members together to explore ways and means of how to achieve peaceful coexistence.
‘The idea is, we want to build a cadre of leaders who will be promoting peaceful coexistence as we are going towards 2019 general elections. Usually we know that elections like these do breed a lot of conflict sometimes violence, so we want to begin with these leaders so that they can understand why they are in politics and if we can find ways and means of avoiding political violence’, said Tenthani.
Centre for Multiparty Democracy is engaging political parties and other national actors to effectively prevent and manage conflicts in the forth coming general election. UNDP has funded the program to institute processes and mechanisms for reinforcement of a culture of peace tolerance and dialogue through institutional capacity development at regional and later national level.