Chaplaincy crucial in public institutions, says Council of Chaplaincy Ministry

A local non-governmental organisation (NGO), working under the banner of Council of Chaplaincy Ministry (COCHAM), has said it is imperative that the government should consider recruiting chaplains in various public institutions across the country including state residences and parliament.

COCHAM executive director, Mabvuto Chipeta, told Nyasa Times in an interview on Monday on the sidelines of the suicide of Clement Chiwaya who shot himself to death following administrative misunderstandings with his former employer—Parliament—where he worked as deputy speaker.

“As COCHAM we are specifically calling upon the office of Speaker of Parliament to consider hiring a chaplain that would specifically target MPs and politicians in general to provide psychosocial and psychotherapy services. We feel what has happened to [Honorable Clement] Chiwaya could have been avoided if such services were adequately available,” Chipeta said.

According to Chipeta, his organization’s mandate is to offer incomparable services of chaplaincy, capacity building and professional development chaplains through trainings, job placement of chaplains, conferences, curriculum development and consultancies in various disciplines of chaplaincy.

So far, Chipeta said, COCHAM has conducted a number of chaplaincy trainings across the country in law enforcement chaplaincy, work place chaplaincy, healthcare chaplaincy, campus chaplaincy and correctional chaplaincy with Malawi Prison Service, Malawi Police Service, Blantyre Synod and Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire.

“Government agenda of wealth creation and agenda 2063 cannot be achieved with the nation that is sick psychologically, socially and spiritually hence the need to have chaplains in both public and private institutions across the country,” said Chipeta.

Recently, according to statistics, cases of suicide in the country have risen by 70 percent and Chipeta said it was a threat towards the development of the nation because most people who commit suicide are those at productive age.

“The nation cannot afford to lose productive citizens,” he told Nyasa Times.

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