The Catholic Church’s Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in Malawi has expressed concern at the hardships being faced by ordinary poor Malawians and has appealed to the government to cushion the suffering of the people especially the majority poor.
.In a statement titled, “Not yet the Malawi we need,” the Church’s commission National Secretary, Chris Chisoni says that “More needs to be done and to be done radically differently and effectively to make Malawi a better place for all.”
The CCJP’ statement also appeals to the donor community to resume budget support to Malawi.
“Development partners, we implore, should not abandon Malawi during its time of dire need. CCJP believes the Malawi government needs financial resources from bilateral and multilateral partners to support its agenda for development while it is cleaning and strengthening its financial management systems,” the statement says.
Paradoxically, Malawi’s economy, in spite of continued economic growth of 6 per cent has taken a notable dive in recent years. The country suffered mismanagement under the late President Bingu Mutharika who died three years ago. The devaluation of the local currency, Kwacha, in 2013 and a devastating financial scandal from 2005 which continued in the two-year rule of Joyce Banda have not helped matters.
The financial scandal known locally as “cash gate” saw the donor community withdraw vital support to Malawi.
CCJP is also critical of service delivery by the public sector in Malawi.
“The public service delivery system and processes have been on the down turn for a number of years now. The quality and timeliness of services in education, health, water and many other sectors have been hugely compromised and neglected to the detriment of the poor who cannot afford privatised services. Compounded by natural disasters, the livelihoods of Malawians are being pushed further to worst forms of poverty,” the CCJP statement reads.
Nevertheless, CCJP is heartened by an emerging critical and engaging citizenry. It says, “It is encouraging to note that Malawian citizens are no longer a ‘silent generation’ just watching their state of livelihoods passing them by. They are no longer a nation that merely complains either.
“There are now emerging voices in Malawi that call for accountability, transparency and responsiveness in many governance systems and structures. Whilst, the governors may often times not be comfortable with this emerging civic culture, CCJP notes this as a positive development which will ensure that those who govern always recognise the views and the voices from those governed,” affirms the CCJP statement.
CCJP asks Government to also do something about unchecked deforestation in the country; large scale exploitation of Malawi’ small holder farmers; dysfunctional local Government structures; the continued flaunting of procedures by Government when appointing people to various positions of public interest as well as a discernible lack of clear policy guidelines in the nation’s development agenda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :