By Jonathan Banda
Firebrand politician who is also the Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo on Tuesday sent Parliament into applause with his delivery of a moving statement on impressive achievements recorded under his newly-established ministry.
Mtambo, who has been a subject of criticism by some quarters questioning the role of his ministry in the country, took the august through some of the key milestones with a stronger emphasis on the how the ministry is linked to President Chakwera’s super Hi-5 and mindset agenda pursued under the Tonse Government.
Said Mtambo: “This Ministry carries a crucial mandate and seeks to fulfil and achieve an agenda of uniting Malawians as one of the key pillars of the SUPER HI5 Tonse Philosophy. The setting up of the Ministry is also a call to fulfil Constitutional obligations on peace, national unity and civic education as stipulated under Section 13 f (iv) and l of the Republican Constitution.
“There was need for a new ministry to make sure that the quality of our citizens’ rights and the safeguarding of government’s duty and commitment to its people was going to be met on a firm purpose and resolve, engaging openly and constantly with all people”
Mtambo, who is also the commander-in-chief of his Citizens for Transformation (CFT) Movement highlighted achievements under the ministry’s ten strategic areas, including the ministry’s establishment, truth and reconciliation commission and development of a mechanism of engaging the public on issues of national importance.
On laying the groundwork of the ministry, Mtambo pointed that his ministry has developed a fully functional Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity with clear ministerial mandate, vision, mission, goals, and structure, which he said have been approved by OPC.
He added his ministry has successfully negotiated the transfer of the National Peace Architecture Project from OPC to the Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity, a move he highlighted is key in enabling the ministry take lead in spearheading peace in the country.
Turning to the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he reported that his ministry has finalized the drafting of a Cabinet Paper on the establishment of the truth and reconciliation programme and that the Cabinet would soon advise on the way forward.
“This is one the key area if our country is going to make any progress in moving away from ethnocentric polarization to national unity. During the reporting period, Madam Speaker, my ministry has engaged stakeholders to develop the proposed truth and reconciliation programme. This processes included reaching out to some communities of past atrocities such as Moto village, Nkhata-Bay, July 20 victims and Diaspora,” he said.
Mtambo also told parliament that his ministry has established the mechanism for citizens and government engagement called “Pa Bwalo” which he said would be key in strengthening accountability and transparency in public institutions.
“Through Pa Bwalo we expect to strengthen citizen-Government engagement, transparency, accountability, deepen public trust, improve public service delivery and promote peace, unity and nation building. Pa Bwalo will be officially launched by 26 March 2021 while letters have been sent to the Proposed Members of the ‘Pa Bwalo,” he said.