District coordinator for Public Affairs Committee (PAC) in Likoma district has pressed on various religious leaders to actively participate into the ongoing voter registration exercise in order to secure free and fair elections in the next year’s polls.
Reverend Father Jolly Chadzuka of Likoma Anglican at St Peters Cathedral made the call on Wednesday 24th July, 2018 in an exclusive interview, saying the religious society cannot work in isolation but rather engage in electoral matters as the prospect affects the larger spectrum of Malawian society.
Chadzuka bemoaned the tendency of other religious leaders who shun from being involved in electoral matters forgetting that they have a pivotal role in such issues. He said religious leaders have the responsibility of sensitizing their members by discouraging them from the perception that politics is not part of the religion, adding that the idea retards development and is negatively impacting political and social governance of the country.
“If religious leaders are hesitant to actively play their role of encouraging members to get registered they contribute to people’s failure to exercise their freedom of choosing leaders of their choice,” said Chadzuka.
Explained he: “as I am speaking now, we are trying so hard sensitizing Christian and Muslim congregations because we are concerned with the welfare of everyone in the country, we encourage them that they should register when the campaign commences in the district.”
Also speaking on his part, chairperson for the Pastors Union in the district, Rev. Herbert Likangala of Living Waters church said religious leaders have to spearhead the sensitization campaign in the district because they are entitled to doing so as they strengthen the social order in the society.
“We want to tell people through the church on the importance of voting, as leaders we have the duty to conduct awareness that everyone with voting age is eligible to register and later on vote.
He said, “much as we have the obligation we need capacity building of equipping us effectively to discharge our duties.”
The union has discussed and agreed that it is high time leaders started sensitizing their church members in various congregations on both Likoma and Chizumulu Islands with the little available knowledge they have.
There are high hopes of having a successful exercise as the Public Affairs Committee has made the commitment to working with them hand in hand together with the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust, which will make the task easier with a collaborative effort.
Meanwhile, the association has also outlined strategies to be used in the course of achieving their goals, one of which is sourcing funds through their secretariat office at the regional level when the time for voting comes of securing their monitors to be deployed into various centers making sure that there is free and fair elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :