The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) and Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) have announced that all is set for Tuesday’s 6th December nationwide demonstrations against pregnancy termination, among others.
The two faith organisations announced their plan to hold a nationwide protests against legalization of abortion and homosexuality dubbed Citizen’s March for Life and Family.
According to the churches, the family life wasunder attack by “the agents of culture of death” and “adversaries of family” who had launched a hugely funded campaign against the killing of unborn children and legalization of homosexuality.
However, speaking at a news conference in Lilongwe on Monday, the Chairperson of the National Taskforce for Citizen’s March for Life and Family, Martin Chiphwanya, who is also the National Secretary of the Catholic Commission for Justice (CCJP) indicated that all was set for the demonstrations.
“We can confirm with you today that all the procedures and preparations necessitating this march have been followed. And we are proud to announce to you that the stage is now prepared for all Malawians of goodwill to celebrate life and family,” said Chiphwanya.
Taking his turn Deputy General Secretary of the Evangelical Association of Malawi Reverend Grey Mwalabu said that Citizen’s March for Life and Family is an open call to patriotism.
“Citizen’s March for Life and Family is an open call to all Malawians to stand up for what is morally right today in the face of the hugely funded campaign for the killing of unborn children (abortion) and legalization of homosexual practices and unions which are a direct attack on life and family respectively,” said Mwalabu.
According to Rev. Matilda Matabwa the Secretary General of Malawi Assemblies of God – a member of Evangelical Association of Malawi- the Citizen’s March for life and family was not a demonstration against anyone or entity but rather a celebration of life and family.
“We would like to emphasize here that the march is about a public celebration, defence and reaffirmation of the following truths and facts about life and family as enshrined in our laws, culture, beliefs and value system as a nation: life begins at conception; life is sacred and must be safeguarded with extreme care from conception; life must be preserved and protected from conception; sex and marriage is naturally between man and woman; and Man and Woman union is the naturally ideal and complete basic unit of a society” said Matabwa.
CCAP Nkhoma Synod General Secretary Vasco Kachipapa appealed to all Malawians to participate in this march as a clear expression of their love for the country as well defending their values and faiths.
But some rights-based organisations in the country.fear the demos may culminate into violating the rights of other minority groups, as the march also targets same-sex marriages.
The CSOs include Centre for Development of People (Cedep), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Malawi Network of Religious Leaders living with HIV/Aids (Manerela).
The CSOs said the faith community is wrong to call for nationwide protests on the issues, saying they have no mandate to “dictate the feelings of everyone in the country.”
“To begin with, Malawi is a secular state, and as such, all views should be considered equally. The framers of our Constitution were cognisant of the importance of protecting views of minority or secular views,” said the CSOs.
However, when asked by journalists about ECM’s and EAM reaction to the CSOs stand and accusations that the church had lost the direction by focusing on trivia rather than serious matters that affect the nation like shortage of drugs, and electricity, the Secretary of the National Taskforce for Life and Family, Makhumbo Munthali, who is also the National Secretary of the Ethics, Peace and Justice Commission, said the Cedep’s boss was entitled to his opinion despite his remarks being misplaced.
“ We respect the opinion of Cedep. However, as a self-acclaimed human rights defender Mr. Gift Trapence must be in a better position to know that right to life is the first amongst all human rights. You cannot talk about economic rights before talking about life. We are talking about life being at stake. In fact, we were supposed to respond to this yesterday. What the churches are doing now is to stand up for the right of unborn children whose plight are under immense danger from a highly funded campaign of the killing of unborn children. Both the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recognizes the right of the child before and after birth. The church will always speak for the voiceless,” said Munthali.
Meanwhile, Munthali announced that they were cleared by authorities to conduct this peaceful march, and provided the routes for the 4 cities and 28 districts for the March.
The colour for the March is white but according to Rev. Vascal Kachipapa members of the clergy were allowed to put on their clerical attire. T-Shirts for the March will be sold at K3000.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :