23 November 2017
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Monday, 30 October 2017 14:14

Stormy rain disrupts Mangochi Democracy Fair

Written by  Kondwani Magombo
Scene after stormy rain devastated democracy fair in Mangochi - Pic by Kondwani Magombo Scene after stormy rain devastated democracy fair in Mangochi - Pic by Kondwani Magombo

Mangochi, October 30, 2017: Stormy rain Saturday disrupted afternoon activities of the Mangochi District Democracy Fair that National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust organized to allow civil society organizations and government sectors showcase their services to the public.

The Fair started in earnest at around 10:30 am with a procession led by Skeffa Chimoto from St. Augustine 3 Primary School to Mangochi Stadium where the CSOs and government departments had erected pavilions with various exhibitions.

Sadly, things went haywire the moment the guest of honour, Mangochi District Council Chair, Twaha Salanje and delegates finished touring the pavilions, the weather changed suddenly.

The rain started at exactly 13:25 pm immediately after speeches, disrupting Skeffa’s first theme song, and it rained heavily for almost 90 minutes which was later followed by heavy storm which blew off some tents where patrons had sat for shelter.

However, no one was reported injured but most of the exhibitions on display were damaged and a football match between Hard Knockers and Makawa Young Navy football club was cancelled.  

Speaking earlier, NICE Public Trust Regional Civic Education Officer, Christopher Naphiyo, described the Fair as a useful tool in fostering democracy, especially in Mangochi where political, cultural and religious differences cause conflicts among the people.

“People need to know what democracy is all about and they need to also ensure that their rights are not violated through the services they get from both government sectors and non-governmental organizations,” said Naphiyo.

He added: "As we approach general elections campaign,  let us all be tolerant with one another and always bear in mind that in democracy, all people cannot belong to one political party or religion; everyone has the right to choose where to belong to.”

In his remarks, Salanje concurred with Naphiyo, saying the district had indeed been facing a lot of religious and political tensions due to lack of awareness on issues of democracy, people’s rights and responsibilities.

"I’m glad that with support from Mangochi Peace Committee who hold awareness meetings with community members, most of the issues were resolved peacefully" said Salanje.

Among the government departments and CSOs which participated in the Democracy Fair were: Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Youth Network and Counseling (YONECO), Rights Advice Centre (RAC), Mangochi Prison, Social Welfare Office, FAWEMA, National Registration Bureau, (NRB), Youth Office, Education Office, and Information Office.

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