The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says interdenominational prayers for elections which was previously slated for Wednesday, April 30, at COMESA Hall in commercial capital Blantyre, will now be held Thursday on May 1 and Robins Park in Blantyre.
However, the date has attracted anger from the officials of the Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) who have accused the Commission of being disrespectful to the workers for choosing the only day of the year which workers meet government officials to air their concerns.
“This is total madness, why choosing Workers Day for the elections prayers. While we respect prayers we are not happy for conducting this function on this day,” said Pontius Kalichero of the MCTU.
There was no immediate reaction from MEC on the workers concerns.
Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga said in a statement that “the changes have been made to offer an opportunity for presidential candidates and other stakeholders who will be attending the presidential debate in Lilongwe, to attend the prayers.”
The prayers’ whose theme Is, ‘Fair, free and peaceful elections: Is anything too hard for the Lord?’ are aimed to pray for free, fair and peaceful elections during May 20 polls.
The prayers have been organised in conjunction with the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, the Muslim Association of Malawi, the Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi, the Evangelical Association of Malawi, Malawi Union of the Seventh Day Adventist and the Pentecostal churches.
MEC said all presidential, parliamentary and local government elections (LGE) candidates have been invited to attend.