Catholic bishops says Malawians witnessing leadership failure

By Vincent Gunde

Catholic Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) says Malawians are witnessing a glaring failure of leadership, saying the country’s leaders have resorted to being salesmen of words with no serious attempt at keeping any promises they made to the people, it is all just words, words, and empty words.

The bishops say they have privately engaged President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera several times and they fail to see any positive change in the general governance of the country or any improvement in the plight of Malawians.

They say they have repeatedly warned the Government leadership that if poor governance continued, the state of the nation would become far worse than it was four years ago, unfortunately, the prediction has come true.

In the Pastoral Letter released on 25th February, 2024 signed by all Catholic Bishops in Malawi, the bishops say under the watch of the Tonse Alliance government, corruption is still rampant from top down.

The bishops say people with high connections are unjustly turning into multimillionaires overnight to the detriment of the majority of people who are being kept in grinding poverty, observing that the fight against corruption has been allowed to collapse.

They say speeches about curtailing expenditure on leadership are just empty words, nothing changes with continuous excuses for travel and accumulating allowances for large entourages draining public funds becoming the norm.

The bishops say there is a perception that suppliers under investigation for corruption are being favoured with millions of dollars in payments at a time when the nation is suffering due to a shortage of forex.

“Dubious deals with suspect and shady supplies are the order of the day, a journalist going into hiding for merely telling the nation the truth about the military’s transactions with an individual who is under investigation for corruption,” reads the Pastoral Letter in part.

The bishops noted with a great concern on continued nepotism in government that appointment of senior officers appears to favour one tribe or region over the others, and confusion surrounding the Public Sector Reforms Report which is being kept secret.

They say Affordable Input Programme (AIP) has become a joke targeting only a handful of people, roads continue to deteriorate rapidly citing M1 and the M5 roads are an embarrassment to the nation with the Judiciary abandoning its integrity and has embroiled itself in corruption and partisanship.

The bishops say most Malawians have lost hope in the Tonse Alliance government and its leadership and have ended up in Bagamoyo, a city on the east coast of Tanzania where slaves when arrived lost hope of being freed again instead of reaching the promised land of Canaan.

The Pastoral Letter says Malawians cannot continue this way as a nation saying their leaders need to stop being greedy and serve the people that put them in power saying Malawians need truly empowered oversight institutions.

It says Parliament needs to stop politicking and serve the people observing that it is sad that Malawians are now witnessing a serious lack of credible and visionary leadership in the country calling for a robust legal framework which will regulate the Judiciary so that it will be accountable and the leaders in the name of God to hear the cry of the people.


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