A catechist at Marka Catholic Church in Nsanje has challenged that Malawi will never realise meaningful and non-partisan socio-economic development unless politicians integrate religion into their career.
Speaking at a public debate at Mtowe Community Day Secondary School ground on Wednesday, the catechist, Jonas Thikiti, said most development programmes government is implementing benefit supporters of the ruling party because “our governors do not recognise the need for unconditional love as emphasised by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The debate was organised by Tiphedzane Community Support Organisation (Ticoso) with funding from the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and drew aspiring MPs from UDF, DPP, MCP, PP and one independent.
“Every year, government introduces social protection programmes for the needy. However, these programmes serve as a ‘thank you’ for people who have been loyal to the ruling party. This is very wrong.
“Now, I have noted that the problem is not necessarily our politicians, but their lack of understanding of the teachings of our religions, which emphasise on unconditional love. If our politicians had integrated religion into their career, they would not discriminate against some people because they don’t support them politically,” said Thikiti.
He appealed to political parties to consider integrating religion into their manifestoes to ensure they do not favour their loyalists in the distribution of development projects when voted into power.
Ticoso executive director Mike Dansa said disproportionate distribution of development projects is a clear demonstration that Malawi has not embraced civilised politics.
Dansa said his organisation has engaged faith leaders in sensitising politicians on the evils of primitive politics.
“We are determined to see candidates who have won changing their attitude towards people who didn’t support them during elections. They [candidates] should be able to embrace all the constituents as one person,” he said.