Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has says religious leaders have a critical role of educating and mobilizing their congregants to register and vote.
In an interview, MEC Director of Public Relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa said religious leaders should preach the goodness and importance of registering.
“Much as churches are leading people to heaven or preparing them for that final day, we are living on earth and we have a responsibility to choose our leaders.
“Religious leaders should know that there are a lot of things they can talk about elections. Almost every worship time there should be something. Even just reading a section of the electoral laws can help in building an informed electorate,” he said.
“Religious leaders in areas where registration has already taken place should encourage their members to keep the certificates safe and not sell them,” added Mwafulirwa.
Mwafulirwa also urged the religious leaders to caution their followers on the need to condemn violence as some of the violent scenes experienced during elections are mooted, engineered and executed by people who also visit places of worship.
“All religions and the religious books in the country encourage harmony among humanity and this should extend to politics. Members should be encouraged to live at peace with their neighbors who belong to different political party.
“Further, religious leaders should not be political in their sermons. They should not create no go zones for other candidates or political parties. They should jealously guard the pulpit and ensure that it is not used to campaign or decampaign another candidate or political parties,” said Mwafulirwa.
On Sunday during service, Moderator for Mlombwa CCAP Reverend Collins Maganga called upon faithfuls to go in large numbers for voter registration.
“Many believers in town are good at analyzing and judging what is happening yet they do not take part in the processes. Let me appeal to all of you our followers to take part by registering for you to vote come next year,” said Reverend Maganga.
Blantyre Archdiocese Communications Secretary Reverend Frank Mwinganyama said the Catholic Church encourages her faithful to take part in political processes of the country.
“The Catholic Church never tires to encourage all people to register, vote. This is on the understanding that we are both body soul, political choices affect how we live as human beings. So we need to take part,” said Father Mwinganyama.
Qudria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) Publicity Secretary Sheikh Jafaar Kawinga emphasised the need for faithfuls to register as choosing leaders starts with registration.
“When we quote Quran 2:30, it states that God created a person as a vicegerent on earth, an overseer of all creation, therefore it is great responsibility for a believer to take a role in making sure that a process lead to choosing of leaders is taken seriously and advocacy to the process is handled by the believers,” said Sheikh Kawinga.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :