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Poor Governance Irks Catholic Bishops

Poor Governance Irks Catholic Bishops

Catholic bishops in the country have expressed their discontentment over what they alleged to be the Tonse Alliance-led administration’s failure to properly govern the country.

In a pastoral letter issued on 25th February this year, the clergymen said the current administration has taken Malawians to “Bagamoyo”, a town in Tanzania on the eastern coast of Africa, which has a significant historical connection to the East African slave trade.

Among others, the bishops have cited rampant corruption, fruitless engagement with the President, nepotism, partisanship in the judiciary, intraparty squabbles, victimisation of the elderly, and the need to respect and care for creation as some of the acute challenges Malawians are going through.

“We are witnessing a serious lack of credible and visionary leadership in the country. This is the root cause of all the problems Malawians are now facing,” reads part of the letter.

In the letter entitled “The Sad story of Malawi”, the bishops said leaders have now resorted to being the salesmen of words with no serious attempt to keep any promises they make to the people during campaigns.

While also faulting voters for choosing leaders who cannot properly govern the country, the bishops implored people to cooperate with God to come out of the mess.

But in response, government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu said the government will make good use of bishops’ wisdom to continue building on the progress the country is making.

“As government, we will not engage in item-by-item responses with the clergy in public. Instead, we will not get tired of utilising the engagement that we have with the clergy over time,” said Kunkuyu in his statement.

Meanwhile, Malawi Business and Applied Sciences political lecturer Chimwemwe Tsitsi has said Catholic bishops are obligated to provide checks and balances to the government as it still remains one of the institutions that speaks for vulnerable people in the country.

While also faulting government for not suspending overseas trips as an austerity measure for the country’s fragile economy, Tsitsi said the pastoral letter has not acknowledged some notable achievements registered by the current administration.

“I strongly believe that objective criticism should always acknowledge the positive aspects for it to be taken seriously by serious minds. In view of the natural disasters such as cyclone Freddy the country has experienced, I think the ‘Bagamoyo’ allegory as indicated in the letter by bishops is an exaggeration and unnecessary sensationalism to the country’s current state of affairs,” explained Tsitsi.

Among others, Tsitsi cited the arrests of some high-profile people allegedly involved in corruption as the government’s effort in a fight against corruption.

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