Centre for Social Concern challenges chiefs, clergy to champion contact and dialogue

Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) has cautioned Malawians against taking to the streets every time they are faced with problems, arguing protests are not a solution to Malawi’s problems.

The organization’s Inter Religious Dialogue Program Officer Tobias Jere, has since challenged law enforcement agencies, traditional and faith leaders to preach peace and unity of purpose among Malawians in fighting social and economic challenges that have engulfed the country and the world at large.

Jere–Street protests are a right, but cannot bring solutions to our problems–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

Jere made the remarks during a meeting his organization conducted for the Lilongwe Interfaith Dialogue Association (LIDA) on Wednesday. The meeting drew participation from religious leaders, chiefs, political leaders, law enforcers and the media.

Jere said the Center is concerned with the level and swiftness at which people are mobilizing themselves for street protests without giving contact and dialogue a chance.

“So, we decided to organize this meeting so that we touch base. A lot is happening in this country and it is only necessary that religious leaders should assume a leading role in guiding their flock on what needs to be done,” he said.

Sheikh Chisonga–Peace is key to the attainment of socioeconomic development of every country–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

Jere emphasized that as much as the Centre supports the promotion of the right to demonstrate, they would have loved to see Malawians giving contact and dialogue a priority over everything.

“Malawians are within their rights to demonstrate on the streets. But our fear is that these protests may not yield the much-sought after results,” he said.

He announced that his organization has just secured funding from the Irish Embassy for the implementation of the project aimed at promoting tolerance among Malawians.

Jere disclosed that religious leaders and politicians are the main target of the project.

“Peace building is not limited to religious leaders, but they are the champions they should preach peace. If we look at the Bible Jesus talked about peace several times and also in Quran, Muhammad talked about peace. So, we cannot go off this and these are the teachings that we have to follow. So, based on that one, we are calling political leaders to promote peace in their society starting from their families,” he said.

In his remarks, Group Village Head Mwase from Kauma in Lilongwe said the meeting has come at a right time when disagreements continue to rise in all corners of the country.

Sheikh Mussa Chisonga called for unity and dedication among pastors and sheikhs in promoting peace among their followers.

CfSC is an influential Catholic-based organization that promotes research and action on social issues, linking the Christian faith and social justice.

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