Evangelical Church of Malawi plans vigil at Parliament on Sec 65

Evangelical church officials at the news conference on Sec 65

Evangelical church officials at the news conference on Sec 65

The Evangelical Church of Malawi (ECM) has taken broad aproach on Section 65, outlining 15-points action plan to push for its implementation, including holding a vigil at the National Assembly.The church has also criticized the Attorney General (AG) for failing to vacate injuctions some MPs obtained restraining Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda invoking the anti-defection law on legislatures believed to have crossed the floor.

”The AG being legal advisor for both the Speaker and government should have moved swiftly to vacate the injuctions but is failing to do so due to pressure from the Executive,” said Reverend Otherwise Mapute ECM National General Secretary.

Mapute was speaking at news conference held at ECM offices in Chilomoni, Blantyre on Tuesday.

Among the 15-points, ECM through its taskforce will organize demonstrations and national crusades apart from holding vigils at Parliament and in constituencies of concerned MPs.

”Our lawyers will ensure the injuctions are vacated as soon as possible so the Speaker should be free to invoke the Section. We will write letters to be read in all churches across the country and mobilize support,” added Mapute.

He said the failure to implement Section 65 undermines democratic principles and is a sin.

But he was quick to point out that the church was not against President Joyce Banda but her failure to have the Section implemented and ensure there is constitutional order.

”Peoples Party has no mandate to invalidate the Constitution as President Joyce Banda benefited from it. Breaching laws is non-confirmity to God’s will and is regarded as sin.

”Constitution has been abused by greedy MPs and their conduct is detremental to our democracy. Constitutionalism is next to Godliness; justice denied is a sin”.

ECM has since dismissed suggestions that it is being influenced by some political forces, adding it will not join any grouping fighting same course.

”Nobody has sent us or is giving us funding on this. As a church its our obligation to serve people and we are using own funds. Anyone is free to join us during the vigils. Its not about President Banda but constitutionalism,” Mapute explained.

ECM has about 1.7 million members across the country.

Meanwhile, opposition MCP, UDF and DPP as well as Public Affairs Committee (PAC) have asked Speaker Chimunthu Banda to invoke the Section during a month-long meeting of Parliament to start on Friday.

Chimunthu Banda told the media last month will only invoke the Section once the injunctions are vacated. He said the issue about Section 65 will not be part of deliberations until all legal battles are concluded.

Evangelical leaders addressing journalists in Blantyre

Evangelical leaders addressing journalists in Blantyre

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