The country’s powerful and influential church, Catholic, says it has an obligation to tell its members on how to distinguish good leaders from bad leaders and to boldly proclaim the truth.
Secretary to the church’s bishops body, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Father Henry Saindi said this Saturday just a day after the Catholic bishops issued a statement which said the church cannot tell people who to vote for during an election.
“As a church, we encourage our members to fully engage in politics, that is their right. We tell them the quality of good leaders so that they are well informed,” said Saindi.
However, Saindi said the church cannot tell people who to vote for, saying the church comprises of members from different political parties.
The vice-president Saulos Chilima has been closely associated with the church and some Catholic clergy recently asked him to consider running for presidency in 2019 elections, drawing sharp criticism from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which accuses the church of promoting and backing Chilima.
Saindi said it is the role of the church to inform its members the importance of voting into power good leaders.
The bishops also asked for violent free elections following the recent spate of political violence perpetrated by the ruling party’s youth wing, the cadets.
The church has been vocal in accusing President Peter Mutharika and his government of nepotism, favouritism, cronyism, tribalism and regionalism among others.
In the statement signed by ECM Chairman, Bishop Luke Msusa, the church called upon all Malawians to pray for peaceful elections and cooperate with God.
“We call upon all Malawians to pray for peaceful elections and cooperate with God in achieving this by desisting from utterances, actions or inactions which can cause violence,” the statement stated.
It articulated that Malawi has been blessed with peace since its inception as a State.
“We all have a duty before God and our Nation to ensure peaceful coexistence at all times but especially now as we prepare for the elections,” it said.
The Bishops encouraged the Citizenry to register and vote in the forthcoming elections as it is not only a right but an obligation of every Malawian.
“Voting in such elections is not only a right but an obligation of every
“In addition, we call upon all those charged with the duty of managing the said elections to ensure that the entire electoral process is properly managed so that we have truly free, fair and credible elections”.
The Bishops reminded priests, church bearers, catechists and heads of their institutions to refrain from making utterances or doing things that can justifiably be perceived as advancing partisan politics.
“For the same reason, we cannot endorse or support any particular politician or political party,” the statement reads.
The statement has been released having received reports from various commissions and departments during their plenary session of June 2018 concerning the forthcoming tripartite elections and considering what they have observed over the last few months regarding the same elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :