NICE calls on political party leaders to prioritize political tolerance

By Burnett Munthali

National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) has called on political party leaders in the country to prioritize political tolerance within their communities and avoid creating no-go zones.

Dowa District Programs Officer, Alinafe Chikakuda said this during an engagement meeting with political leaders at Mondwe in the area of Traditional Authority Kayembe in the district.

Chikakuda stressed the importance of upholding political tolerance; saying that multi-party democracy provides opportunities for all citizens to participate in political activities.

In her remarks, Malawi Congress Party Constituency chairlady, Ruth Wonderson hailed the NICE for spearheading efforts to promote political tolerance and inclusivity.

Dowa West Democratic Progressive Party governor Jamison Chanziya said their party would support the idea of promoting tolerance and peaceful coexistence among political entities in the region.

Mature democracy may increase societal pluralism through encouraging and educating people to be tolerant, such as respecting others’ rights, respecting diversity of individuals and groups, and caring for every group’s well-being. Conversely, limited democracy allows the possibility of inequality.

Tolerance is important because it provides a more cohesive, peaceful society. People who are free to express themselves freely and peacefully without fear of persecution are more likely to live happier lives as functional members of society. Diversity lends itself to a more robust society.

Progress is difficult it not impossible in an intolerant society. Intolerance breeds separation, misunderstanding, and hostility between groups. When groups have no opportunity to settle their disagreements by discussion, they are apt to resort to fighting.

In March 2021, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) pushed the blame on political violence that erupted in Nsanje central to the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Six people were seriously injured when MCP and DPP supporters were engaged in political violence in the area ahead of the highly contested March 30 by-election that year.

In February 2024, Thugs armed with stones, panga knives and catapults wore masks and disguised themselves and damaged cars, injuring people and chased Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members who gathered on Saturday 24 February, 2024 at Mbowe filling Station in  Lilongwe.

A lorry registered LA 9108” belonging to one of the MCP officials was spotted carrying thugs at Mbowe filling station where DPP members gathered in readiness for their Blue Convoy Parade.

Some DPP members were severely hacked and their personal cars badly damaged in the fracas including various property was stolen

In March 2024, The Malawi Police Service (MPS), for the first time, blamed political leaders for fanning political violence.

National Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya said violence during electioneering could end if political leaders controlled their youth.

In one of my HardTalk interviews, Social commentator Rick Dzida says Statistics on the ground, Burnett, reveal that MCP and DPP are the only parties which will most likely  take over government in 2025.

All political alliances  will have to include one of these two parties if ever they want to emerge victorious in 2025 Tripartite General Elections.

This implies that both MCP and DPP have massive political following and if they resort to fighting each other, it is like big elephants fighting while innocent grass is suffering. The big loser is the grass because for sure one elephant will emerge a victor.  This situation must be avoided at all cost.