Catholic bishops in the country have condemned violent acts that have been taking place since the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) announced that Peter Mutharika won the May 21 presidential race.
The bishops, under the Episcopal Conference on Malawi (ECM), state in a statement, issued on Friday, that they condemn the violence in strongest terms.
“We denounce the vice perpetrated on innocent people and their property based on political, regional and tribal lines. Violence is evil and unacceptable. It is contrary to the freedom we fought for when we chose multiparty system of government,” the statement reads, in part.
While acknowledging the right of Malawians to hold peaceful demonstrations as provided in the Constitution, the bishops call on citizens to maintain peace, calm and unity as the nation waits for the court’s determination on the matter.
also call for justice to prevail in the matter in court,
stressing that they did not find it prudent to comment on matters related to the conduct, transmission and management of the electoral results.
“We invite all Catholics to a serious examination of conscience before the Lord on whether they have been instruments of unity and peace or division during this period of political tension and violence,” further reads the statement signed by all the Catholic bishops in the country.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM are disputing results of the presidential election and have taken the matter to court. The two parties and some civil society organisations (CSOs) have supported demonstrations mounted by citizens in some parts of the country. What were planned to be peaceful demonstrations were marred by incidents of violence, especially in the Central and Northern regions