Catholic bishops call for new leadership in Malawi: Issue pastoral letter

Catholic bishops in the country, under the umbrella of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), have said Malawi needs a new era as the country prepares for the June 23 presidential fresh elections.

Catholic Bishops: Further call for a  new era in Malawi:

The influential Catholic church  played a significant role in birthing democracy in Malawi when they issued a Pastoral Letter in 1992 at the height of Kamuzu Banda’s regime under which was titled ‘Living our faith’.

The letter, and the subsequent incidents thereafter, turned to be the whip that broke the back-bone of Kamuzu Banda’s one party dictatorship.

And in this 26th Pastoral Letter read out in all Catholic churches on Sunday titled ‘A Further Call for a New Era in Malawi: Leadership at the Service of Citizens,’ the bishops noted that the country is at crossroads.

“We can either choose to save our nation or destroy it,” reads the letter.

“The most urgent task before us is to choose a leader who can rescue it from further deterioration. We call upon all duty bearers to ensure that the forthcoming presidential election is free, fair, credible and peaceful.

“We also urge all Malawians to go and vote and vote wisely, keeping in mind the consequences of not voting or not voting wisely. Let us continue to pray and seek God’s guidance for the success of this election,” the powerful church hierarchy wrote.

The seven Bishops noted that the forthcoming presidential election provides Malawi with an opportunity to choose a leader who can save the  country from collapsing and who can turn it into a unified, orderly and prosperous nation.

“As we said in our previous pastoral letters, such a leader requires to have the following necessary qualities: honesty, democratic, transformational leadership, visionary, selflessness, servant leadership (Mark 10:44), good stewardship, exemplary, decisiveness, respect for the Constitution and the rule of law, willingness to step down (Luke 17:10), being above tribal/regional/political interests, accountable and God-fearing.

“Failure to have such a leader will result in our nation becoming more chaotic, divided and with deepening levels of poverty. Wakutsina khutu ndi mnansi,” the bishops epistle reads.

The Bishops further point at several political factors that have hindered Malawi’s development and that need to be put right.

This include rising tribalism, increasing acts of political violence, rising levels of impunity, rising levels of corruption and fraud, dysfunctional systems of public service delivery, the Covid-19 pandemic and continued environmental degradation.

The ECM also notes that there are challenges related to holding a credible election.

“Aware of the fact that an election is a process not an event, we are concerned about the following: the loss of public trust and confidence in the current Malawi Electoral Commissioners, inconsistency in the determination of electoral calendar, vandalism of MECequipment, lack of security in centres where MEC is processing voter transfers and issuing duplicate voter certificates, biased, unprofessional and defamatory reporting by the public broadcaster, MBC.

“We are also concerned with the general abuse of freedom of expression by political party zealots on social media by among others, fabricating all forms of falsehood, lies and rumour-mongering. This calls upon all Malawians to exercise extra vigilance to ensure that the electoral process is transparent. Let there be issue-based campaign. Above all, it calls for a leadership that can provide appropriate direction and supervision.”

The incumbent President Peter Mutharika, a 80-year-old former law professor, has managed to rein in rising prices of basic goods and improved Malawi’s roads and other infrastructure. However, critics accuse him of cronyism and failing to tackle graft.

The Pastoral Letter has been signed by leaders of all the eight Catholic dioceses in the country, led by ECM bishop chairman Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of Blantyre.

He is deputized by Right Reverend Martin Mtumbuka Vice-President, the Bishop of Karonga.

Other members are the Most Reverend Tarsizio Ziyaye, Archbishop of Lilongwe; Right Reverend Peter Musikuwa, Bishop of Chikwawa; Right Reverend Montfort Stima who is the Bishop of Mangochi; Right Reverend George Tambala, Bishop of Zomba; Right Reverend John Ryan, Bishop of Mzuzu and the Very Reverend John Chithonje, Diocesan Administrator of Dedza.

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Malawi belong to the citizens

Change is coming soon, whether DPP and UDF alliance wants or not.

Kivu
Kivu
9 months ago

Aise Chlima Covidiot ….you are really dull…of course Martin Fayulu was robbed of his vote…he won fair and square.. Just like your DPP-UDF alliance….Kabila sought a lesser evil…he knew Fayulu was going to bite him hard…so do not say the Esteemed clergy called it wrongly…the problem with us Malawians is that we comment stuff without backing with facts.. social media too much….conjectures. We are a polarised nation because of tribalism etc…it actually fucks up our judgement if only Malawians voted rationally… Btw the clergymen write on an informed view point…everyone who is sane sees it that change is needed…let DPP/UDF… Read more »

Wachiyao
Wachiyao
9 months ago

Kkkkkkk! From the responses, I can tell who the guilty party are. People, let’s leave this to the Catholics to respond. The letter is addressed to them. Learn not to reply to letters that are not addressed to you. Guilty conscience isakusokokezeni kwa mpaka kuulula zomwe simunafunsidwe. Mwatani kodi?

CHILIMA-COVIDIOT
CHILIMA-COVIDIOT
9 months ago

Afunse anzawo ku DR Congo
Kumeneko mabishop enayesela kumpakapaka mafuta Martin Fayulu ndichipanichake ndipo zinayandila
Koma sanaphule kanthu
IZI NDI ZITSILU ZA ANTHU

Chacharito
Chacharito
9 months ago

Vomelezani change yayandikila, nanga APM alikutino?

Lego
9 months ago

Thats being stupid of all orders.I don’t think you have sense in your brain you fool.

Lego
9 months ago

The Bishops did not mention a name of a leader to be elected but all want is us to elect a visionary oriented leader.

Mwini muzi.
9 months ago
Reply to  Lego

A man of anthropology knows which side they are associating with. No need to worry, it’s just an ordinary letter with no divine power. It won’t in anyway influence change like the first only one they wrote in 1993.Those that have followed thereafter have been none other than a bunch of jokes.

John Gray Gufa
John Gray Gufa
9 months ago

Bwanji ma Bishop wa sanapepese za kuphedwa kwa Masambuka yemwe anaphedwa ndi wansembe wawo. Towaonani afalisiwa. Malipiro kwa antchito awonso ndi ochepa kwambiri bolanso kugwila ntchito mu Boma

Noxy
9 months ago

Gone astray.The likes of Bishop Chiona was a Brilliant crop of bishops I wish if they had woken up from their graves to be on their throne again.They were speaking with God.

chigezero pure
chigezero pure
9 months ago

God knows who is the right leader for Malawi but he will not impose that leader on Malawi … we have to choose presidentiyo tokha….tikasankha molakwika God will let it be. He will respect our choice(no imposition ) It up to us to choose someone better amongst the available candidates. Llife is about choices if we choose wrong we face the consequences and if we choose right we enjoy the fruits . What is required is to base our choices on God’s guidelines on qualities of a good leader. Kcoma tikayendera yoti ndivotera wakwathu Mulunguyo alora ndithu . Whatever the… Read more »

Shack
Shack
9 months ago

Truth hurts. We can see who is offended and angry with this letter even though no party was mentioned. Cadets out in full swing defending their actions. Hehehe! Chaka chake ndi chino God has given us another chance to change the leadership or get doomed by the Lhomwe tribalism. Agogo is nowhere to be seen. Read what happened to Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar.

Mtete
9 months ago

Those who indulge in the vices outlined in the letter are the ones who feel bitter. With regards to”new leadership” the reference relates to those who have not yet led the country. Atupele, Chilima, Kuwani and Chakwera have not yet led Malawi and they, therefore, qualify as “New Leadership”. What most of us forget is that the Human Being is both Body and Soul. The Churches can therefore not look at one aspect of human being and leave out the other. Churches feel for the people and this is why they intervene from time to time. Please bear this in… Read more »

Mtete
9 months ago
Reply to  Mtete

Incidentally even APM could be elected and what the Bishops are saying is that he could change his style of leadership from the current one to something that appeals to the majority of Malawians. For example, he would now appoint people to high positions based on Merit and not Tribe.

Kagawa 2
Kagawa 2
9 months ago
Reply to  Mtete

I believe you have failed to understand well the topic. Check on the topic and then comment than writing premature comments on a critical subject like this. Is there “new Leadership” as you have noted??

Theu
9 months ago

Proudly supporting DPP and UDF alliance. Will say NO to violent MCP and UTM with my vote.

#NotMyPresident
#NotMyPresident
9 months ago
Reply to  Theu

Sure we will send you packing soon. Awe Ali ku Sanjika athawa ku Lilongwe mwauze.

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