Department of Peace and National Unity in the Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture has tasked duty bearers to intensify negotiation and mediation in ending conflicts before they turn violent for the betterment of the country.
Speaking Friday in Nkhata Bay, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Unity and Culture, Elizabeth Gomani Chindevu said violent conflicts are costing government as they lead to deaths and loss of property.
She, therefore, advised duty bearers to implement peaceful conflict resolution strategies and ensure peaceful coexistence of people regardless of their differences.
“Development is negatively affected because whenever there are violent conflicts, we hear reports of people being killed, property being lost while others get displaced and education is disrupted, hindering child development,” Chindevu said.
She said government is engaging stakeholders across the country to counter the vice and expressed optimism of achieving fruitful results through application of Peace and Unity Act once in operation.
Chairperson for Nkhata Bay District Peace and Unity Committee, Bishop David Mkandawire, said high cases of violence being experienced in Nkhata Bay shows that there is more the committee needs to do.
However, Mkandawire said lack of resources for the committee’s operations was a major drawback hence appealed to government for support.
“We plan to build capacity of our communities in regard to peaceful conflict resolution so that they understand necessary steps to be followed other that turning into violence.” Mkandawire said.
The meeting comes barely less than a month after communities in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Fukamapiri, engaged in conflicts following the murder of a 19-year-old boy and barely two days after another commotion between Kawalazi Tea Estate owners and communities surrounding the plantation.