Catholic Bishops say Malawians’ daily struggle for survival has deepened under Chakwera

Lazarus Chakwera

Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church have called out the Lazarus Chakwera administration for failing to fulfill campaign promises saying Malawi is worse off than what people were promised while neighbouring countries are registering meaningful human and economic progress.

The Bishops under the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) yesterday released a pastoral letter titled “A Call to Hearken to the Cry of Poor Malawians”

Chakwera and the Tonse Alliance promised to create one million jobs, provide loans to women and youths, reduce presidential powers and to stabilize the Malawi economy.

The bishops in their letter say their verdict and that of many Malawians is that the much touted promises of change are far from being realized and the daily struggle for survival for the vast majority of Malawians has only deepened under the Tonse Alliance.

They added that the cry of the poor gets louder and louder in Malawi each day amid worsening general inflation with biting food price increases, rising youth unemployment, rising school fees, inadequate medical services, the fuel crisis driving up transport costs, exploitation by unscrupulous traders and business people, foreign exchange shortages, and lack of effective consumer protection.

“Even when such challenges as the hurricanes, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are factored in, our humble but honest submission is that we have missed out on leadership to seize opportunities, policy direction and intervention critically sought for at such times. The end result seems to be a Malawi worse off than what we were promised and looked forward to in a region where most of our neighbouring countries, affected by the same challenges, are registering meaningful human and economic progress,” the Bishops say in their statement.

In the letter, the Bishops have spoken about the vice of corruption, defective service delivery systems, inconsistent government austerity measures, bleak picture of the oncoming crop growing season, and the Tonse Alliance’s retrogressive way of governing.

According to the Bishops, Chakwera’s administration is characterized by internal bickering, jostling for political clout, cronyism, nepotism, focusing on narrow selfish political interests and disjointed stances on public policy by alliance partners.

“The situation is a serious cause for worry as it undermines meaningful development which would enhance the lives of people, especially the poor in Malawi. Malawians are tired of politicians who keep fighting for political power before, during, after and in between elections without regard to the development needs of the electorate,” reads part of the letter.

The Bishops have since called upon the Tonse Alliance partners as national leaders to collectively guide the people to the attainment of a better Malawi for all.

“Tonse Alliance partners should desist from worthless and needless politicking focusing attention on 2025 General elections and instead focus their attention on governing Malawi in a way motivated by fairness for all and true development of the country,” reads part of the letter.

The Bishops in the letter have also faulted Chakwera for deviating from his government’s expenditure control measures which were introduced earlier this year.

According to the Bishops, Chakwera is supposed to be exemplary on the expenditure control measures and should listen to Malawians’ concerns over unnecessary internal and external travels which are sometimes undertaken with large entourages.

Bishops who have signed the letter include President of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi Most Reverend George Desmond Tambala, Vice President of ECM Right Reverend Montfort Stima and Most Reverend Thomas Luke Msusa of Archdiocese of Blantyre.

Others are Right Reverend Peter Musikuwa of Diocese of Chikwawa, Right Reverend Martin Mtumbuka of Diocese of Karonga, Right Reverend John Ryan of Diocese of Mzuzu and Right Reverend Peter Chifukwa, Diocese of Dedza.


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