Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire Brighton Malasa has asked the electorate to avoid voting along regional and tribal lines, saying this may divide Malawians.
The appeal comes a month after the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust asked faith leaders to utilise the pulpit to propagate issue-based choice of leaders vying for elective positions in the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
Speaking in an interview with Radio Maria Malawi last Sunday, Malasa challenged that voting for leaders based on region, tribalism or proximity will not help Malawi achieve its social and political aspirations.
“We can’t deny it. We have tried it [voting for leaders on regional and tribal lines] before, but has it served us? Obviously, the answer is a big NO!
“My expectation this time is that voters will not look at where the candidates are coming from, but what they are offering in their manifestoes,” he said.
Malasa said nepotistic voting could be detrimental to the entrenchment of democratic governance in the country; hence, the need for the voters to resist it.
Nice regional civic education officer for the South Christopher Naphiyo has commended the Anglican Church for “setting a good example in spearheading the issue-based voting pattern.”
“Faith leaders can easily change people’s mindsets on what constitutes democracy and political pluralism. That’s why Nice Trust would like them to take the leading role in spearheading issue-based voting,” said Naphiyo.