Malawi Council of Churches, Anglican join Catholics to back PAC demo

The Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) and the Anglican Diocese of Northern Region have joined the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) in urging its members to participate in the in the December 13 nationwide demonstrations to push government to table Electoral Reforms Bills, including the 50+1 provision organized by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) .

Malawi Council of Churches, Secretary General, Bishop Gilford Matonga : Take part in December 13 demo

MCC, the umbrella body for 25 major Protestant churches in the country, has issued a statmenet saying it  remains committed to support the pursuance of the tabling, debating, and passing of the Electoral and Local Government Reforms – in particular the introduction of the 50%+1 electoral system, and the removal of Members of Parliament from voting in Councils.

And in the letter titled ‘We Demand for Transformative leadership; Now is a time to proclaim our destiny’ from the diocese’s bishop the Reverend Fanuel Magangani addressed to priests in-charge, guilds and all members reproduced the call by PAC to its members, urging them to congregate at four points in the country’s cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu and Zomba.

Nyasa Times also understands that, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) in the Livingstonia Synod has already drafted its epistles to add its voice to PAC’s call.

Many Churches and the Muslims are expected to show their stand this week as only nine days have remained.

The call to take part in the marches has come at a time when there is waning commitment from the government to table the Electoral Reform Bills as earlier promised.

Governm has said  it is set to table two of the six Bills the Malawi Law Commission recommended.

However, the Bill proposing an amendment of the electoral system, especially in the presidential race, to adopt 50+1 instead of the present first-past-the-post and three others are not among the two as Minister of Civic Education Grace Chiumia has said the Peter Mutharika administration is not interested wit them because they would be costly.

Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa said the two Bills to be put to the Business Committee by Tuesday are Electoral Commission and Referendum.

He said: “The government underestimated the amount of work that would go into making the Bills ready for Parliament. But two have now gone through the Cabinet plenary and will be taken to the Business Committee.”

Nankhumwa said a bill could not be tabled without following processes such as Cabinet committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and then main Cabinet.

The Law Commission recommended the following Bills collectively called Electoral Reforms Bills: Constitution (Amendment), Electoral Commission (Amendment), Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Act (PPEA) and Local Government Elections Act, Assumption of the Office of President (Transitional Arrangement) and Referendum.

The most contentious of the Bills relate to the amendment of Section 80 (2) of the Constitution and Section 96 (5) of the PPE Act to provide for a change of the electoral system from a simple majority to a majority of more than 50 percent in the presidential race.

The Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill as proposed by the Special Law Commission recommended the enactment of the Elections Management Fund to ensure Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is financially autonomous.

It also proposed changes in the appointment of the MEC chairperson as well as composition of the commissioners.

The Referendum Bill, on the other hand, aims to introduce legislation on how to conduct a referendum as one does not exist currently.

The Assumption of the Office of President (Transitional Arrangement) proposes amendment to the Constitution to allow that swearing in of President and Vice-President be done after 30 days not within 30 days as prescribed in Section 81 (3) of the Constitution.

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Maunits
Guest

Sleeping on the job very insensitive, incompetent and useless govt of dpp. Bingu also did the same and he died imfa ya manyazi yoti anthu kupanga maphwando. A DPP mufuna winaso kachikena afe chifukwa cha 50+1 anthu woyipa inu zanu zada.

Gogodasi
Guest

Santana, ku Macra uliko watsala madzi amodzi. You will now learn to get a job through competition.

Kwali
Guest

Recall provision should not be forgotten as well. An MP who doesn’t fulfill 50+1 of his promises half way through his tenure should be recalled as well

Kwali
Guest

The 50+1 should be inclussive. All MPs should be subjected to this. How can constituents be ruled by someone who did not get more than half of the votes amongst registered voters? Political parties should also embrace the 50+1 rule. Of coz Chakwera did not win at his party with a 50+1 votes but he claims he is the leader. heck your archives

Banda
Guest

Malawi has BIGGER problems than this. Stop politicising national issues.

Banda
Guest

Our country has more pressing problems and the fact that these loud-mouthed and misguided clergy men are busy pushing for electoral reform is indicative of how foolish they are. The are trying to give advantage to a certain party. Only a fool can support join this demonstration. Can these churches sort out the mess in their churches PLEASE.

Opinion
Guest

I urge all the residents of Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Zomba and Blantyre to take part in this important demonstration.. In particular, I also urge the students in all institutions of higher learning, (Universities and Colleges) whether public or private, to take part and make sure that the demonstrations are PEACEFUL!!! This country requires youth participation to transform. Do not leave the survival of your country in the hands of OLD politicians who do not have your welfare and that of your country’s at heart. Support PAC and all church organisations in this noble cause. Support the electoral reforms!!!!!!

Chirombo cha nyanga khumi
Guest
Chirombo cha nyanga khumi

The Roman Catholic bishops are very good at creating disunity among Malawians. With this political bickering going around the country, its only a matter of time before Malawi becomes a federal state. Watch this space.

Opinion
Guest

Let the news of the demonstrations be spread by all the churches in the country, especially this weekend. Our children and grandchildren will need these reforms when their time to rule comes. Let’s prepare this country for them!!!!!

Amfana
Guest

Kuvera kwa Apostoli, Ine ndivera mulungu atate amphavu zonse, amene analenga za kumwamba ndi za pansi pano, ndipo ndivera mzimu woyera, EKLEZIA KATOLIKA OYERA, Ndiveraso kuti oyera AYANJANA, mulungu atikhululukira za kwaipa, ULIPO MOYO OSATHA. AMEN.

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