The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) – an umbrella mother body of 64 Church denominations and 58 Christian organisations – through its specialCommissioncalled the Ethics, Peace, and Justice Commission (EPJC) has organized a series of regional church leaders’ consultation meetings across the country to deliberate the state of governance in Malawi.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times and co-signed by Ethics, Peace, and Justice Commission (EPJC) National Chairperson Rev. Dr. Zacc Kawalala and EPJC National Coordinator Makhumbo Munthali, the church mother body has organized a series of these regional consultation meetings starting in March 2017 with the objective of providing the platform for church leaders within EAM membership and beyond to objectively reflect on the state of socio-political and economic governance in Malawi.
“This activity is part of a series of regional consultations meetings on the state of governance which the EPJC is currently conducting across all regions with the ultimate objective of identifying and appreciating socio-political, economic, legal and policy issues affecting the governance realm in Malawi at both district and national level.
“The issues identified in these regional consultation meetings will form part of the EPJC national report on state of governance in Malawi which shall be subsequently presented at a high level EAM’s organized annual consultative forum for heads of churches and Christian organisations called a National Church Leaders’ Indaba on the State of Governance in Malawi slated for May 2017” reads part of the statement.
According to the EPJC’s statement, the set regional consultation meetings are in line with the Commission’s overall mandate as given by EAM’s General Assembly of 2007 to promote Biblical ethics, peace, justice and good governance in Malawi through promoting greater and effective church’s participation in the public arena as the light and salt of the society in addressing ethical, peace, justice and governance concerns in Malawi so that people live dignified lives to the glory of God.
“Besides, the regional consultation meetings and the forthcoming National Church Leaders’ Indaba on the State of governance in Malawi contribute to EAM’s objectives (d), (c), (f), and (b) which empowers the mother body to promote and strengthen effective coordination, networking, sharing of good practices and a common voice by churches on major issues of national interest and also to participate in national development towards social transformation, besides spiritual transformation, of the people of Malawi” argues Kawalala and Munthali.
In a separate interview with Nyasa Times EPJC National Coordinator Makhumbo Munthali said these regional consultation meetings will also provide the opportunity for EPJC Commissioners to appreciate the magnitude and extent of the situation of human trafficking and the killings of persons with albinism across the country.
“These regional consultation meetings also provide the opportunity for EPJC Commissioners led by the EPJC National Chairperson Rev. Dr. Zacc Kawalala to appreciate the magnitude of the situation of human trafficking and the killings of persons with albinism at district level across the country amidst media reports of the same.
“We are interested in a credible evangelical response to these injustices and human rights violations that offend human dignity to inform our subsequent engagement with relevant authorities and other key stakeholders,” said Munthali.
Munthali also added that the said regional consultation meetings will also accord the opportunity for EPJC Commissioners to get feedback from church leaders on the current Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Strategy.
“As you are aware government through the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Samuel Tembenu has been engaging various stakeholders including religious leaders to get feedback on the implementation of the current Anti-Corruption Strategy (2008). While we commend this government’s inclusive approach to the review of the strategy, we strongly believe we can make meaningful, credible and effective input to this process by taking the strategy to the ground for review before we can share a credible feedback to government – a feedback which is owned and grounded by our member churches and organisations” said Munthali
According to EPJC’s Munthali, these meetings, besides reviewing the performance of various actors like executive, legislature and judiciary in the fight against corruption, will also provide the opportunity for the church’s self-assessment of its role in the fight against corruption as stipulated in the Anti-Corruption Strategy of 2012-2017.