Commentators say Vice President Saulos Chilima has put himself on a collision path with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) by reading an announcement in church, calling on Catholics in Malawi to join a nationwide electoral reforms march.
The vice president was part of the congregation at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Area 18 in the capital Lilongwe, on Sunday and read the protest statement alongside other church announcements.
The DPP led government whose second in command is Chilima, is opposing calls by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to have the electoral reforms bill tabled during the current sitting of parliament.
But by reading the protest announcement, the Vice President has given an impression that he is in support of the 13th December demonstrations organised by the Public Affairs Committee.
Commenting on social media platforms, including Facebook, some Malawians describe the move by Chilima as wrong since he is part of the government.
Others however feel he was simply actively participating in church activities, by reading out the announcements.
For a while now, there has been speculation that Chilima is not in good books with some members of the DPP, with some pointing out that this incident might further alienate him.
Chilima has been quoted by various media houses claiming to have been ambushed as he had no knowledge of what consisted of the documents and simply read them out.
Background Public Affairs Committee
According to information is the grouping’s website, PAC was formed in 1992 during the Malawi’s political transition from one party to multi party system of government.
It remains a key civil society organisation in the field of human right, mediation, advocacy, HIV/AIDS, Gender based Violence, religious co-existence, electoral processes and peace and security.
The founders are Malawi Law Society, Malawi Chamber of Commerce, CCAP Blantyre Synod, CCAP Livingstonia Synod, CCAP General Synod, Diocese of Lake Malawi of Anglican Church, Diocese of Southern Malawi of Anglican Church, Episcopal Conference of Malawi, , Malawi Council of Churches, Muslim Association of Malawi during its formation, it assumed various names such as: Ecumenical Committee, Extra-ordinary Committee, Malawi National Affairs Committee, National Affairs Committee. Then, became Public Affairs Committee during Chilema meeting in August of 1992.