President Peter Mutharika has stressed that churches and other religious denominations should remain apolitical.
Using the Katawa CCAP of the Livingstonia Synod pulpit on Sunday, Mutharika advised the church to remain non partisan in politics, saying instead it should continue with its prophetic mission.
“Avoid partisan politics, desist from campaigning for individual candidates. You are there for the spiritual life of the people whilst we, the government are there for the physical needs of the people,” he said.
He said the Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP is not in opposition with the government, saying the government welcomes criticisms done in a gentle way.
The synod moderator John Gondwe assured the president that the church does not engage in partisan politics.
He said the church will continue to work with the government in health, education and other sectors for the benefit of poor Malawians.
The President sat on ordinary church benches just like anybody else leaving their presidential seats.
A political scientist from the University of Malawi has also sternly warned churches against campaigning for individual candidates in the run up to the May 21, 2019 presidential election
Ernest Thindwa, a political scientist at Chancellor College said Church backing a candidate “ can be a recipe for war.”
He said the decision to elect political leaders lies with the faithful themselves.
During the ordination of priests in Blantyre, Catholic Bihsop Thomas Msusa said next year people should not vote for leaders because they come from the same region, tribe or religion.
He called on people to vote for leaders who are visionary, God fearing and transformative.
“But please, listen carefully; if this God fearing, visionary and transformative leader comes from your church or religion, don’t hesitate to vote for him. If we have one of our own family, why not vote for that person.
Catholic Church leaders encourage their faithful to take an active role in politics, which includes seeking political power at all levels of the national governance structure.
“A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself/herself; so that those who govern can govern” (Pope Francis, Homily during morning Mass, l6th September, 2013). While doing so, we remind priests, religious men and women, catechists, heads of our institutions to refrain from making utterances or doing things that can justifiably be perceived as advancing partisan politics,” the Church said in a statement.
“For the same reason, we the Catholic bishops in Malawi cannot, and shall not support or endorse any particular politician or political party,” further reads the statement.
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has since Malawians to pray for peace ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :