Malawi Clergy advise candidates to accepts elections outcome

Presidential candidates for the May 20 Elections have been advised to accept results with dignity should they fail to avoid plunging the country into incidents of violence.

Rev Chatha Msangaambe in his message during the National Day of Prayers organised by Public Affairs Committee (Pac) on Saturday at Civo Stadium said the candidates should uphold the precedence set by founding President Dr Kamuzu Banda when he accepted defeat to Bakili Muluzi in 1994 during the transition from one party system to multiparty.

All the 12 presidential candidates graced the prayers and signed a Lilongwe Peace Declaration for the Elections which urged them to accept results and uphold peace and order after the elections.

All the candidates during prayers

All the candidates during prayers

Joyce Banda Signing in the book of Peace Declaration before the PAC at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe

Joyce Banda Signing in the book of Peace Declaration before the PAC at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe

“You should accept results whether you win or lose. Dr Banda accepted results in 1994 even before the counting was over when people did not expect that Muluzi could succeed him,” he said.

Rev Msangaambe, who is the Moderator of Nkhoma Synod, said Malawi was a blessed nation as God has saved it from looming crises to become a peaceful nation since the end of the one party system.

“You are a blessed because God has been in control of Malawi. When Muluzi wanted to cling to power after the end of his mandatory second term God was on our side when DDP was becoming unpopular it’s when PP, the ruling party took over,” he said.

He said for Malawi to maintain to be peaceful nation it is well known for worldwide candidates and their followers should be tolerant to each other after the elections.

Father Emmanuel Chimombo of the Catholic Church appealed to the candidates to be prepared for the fundamental principles of a competition.

“There should be unity among the candidates after the elections. Every candidate geared to win must be prepared to lose,” Fr Chimombo said.

PAC chairperson Rev Felix Chingota said it was the responsibility of all Malawians to ensure peace and order despite that the Declaration of Peace was signed by only 12 presidential candidates.

“The fact that it was a requirement for all the 12 presidential candidates to sign the Lilongwe Peace Declaration does not mean that they are the only custodians of peace,” Rev Chingota said.

“Everybody has the responsibility. I would like to urge you by to quoting the preaching that peace depends on all of us with the help of God,” he said.

The collection from the congregation of K372,525 was donated to Chisombezi Death/Blind school at Nguludi Catholic Mission.

All presidential candidates Daves Katsonga of Chipani Cha Pfuko, Peter Mutharika ( Democratics Progressive Party, Pastor Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party, Geore Nnensa of Tisantha Alliance, James Nyondo representing National Salvation Front, New Labour Party’s Friday Jumbe, People’s Party’s torche bearer State Presidet Joyce Banda, Mark Katsonga of Progressive People’s Party Kamuzu Chibambo of People’s Transformation Party, John Chisi of Umodzi Party, Atupele Muzi of United Democratic Party and United Independent Party’s Abusa Hellen Singh attended the prayers.

 

The first national prayers were held last week Thursday at Robins Parks in Blantyre organised by Malawi Electoral Commission in which all but DDP’s Mutharika missed.

The PAC Peace Declaration titled: Taking a Stand Against Violence in Malawi During and After Elections, seeks to engage the contesting party leaders in ensuring both a peaceful democratic elections and a political process thereafter that serves the national good.

Reads the LPD in part: “We, the Presidential Candidates in Malawi’s May 2014 Tripartite Elections…recognizing that free, fair and peaceful elections depend on political parties providing firm leadership to the impartial enforcement of the existing electoral laws by state institutions;

“… Committed to the importance of sustaining Malawi’s proud reputation of being a God-loving, peaceful democratic nation, declare that it is time to take a definitive stand against the possibility of electoral violence, impunity and injustice in our beloved Malawi, because these acts are detrimental to the peace, welfare and sustained development of the people of Malawi.”

The document also commits the candidates to declaring that ahead of and immediately following the elections on May 20, 2014, they shall forcefully and publicly speak out against all acts of elections-related violence, impunity and injustice, and that they will seek to collaborate with the Malawi Police Service and allied law enforcement agencies to professionally discharge their duties without fear or favour.

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