The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has ured Malawians to pray for peace ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections.
In a statement released on Friday, signed by ECM chairperson Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, the bishops also called on Malawians to desist from utterances, actions or inactions which can cause violence.
The bishops say they issued the statement based on reports they received from various commissions and departments during their June 2018 plenary concerning 2019 elections.
They also say their call for peace is based on what they have observed over the last few months, regarding preparations for the elections.
The bishops also emphasise on the need for the nation to ensure peaceful co-existence at all times, especially now as the nation prepares for the elections.
In the statement, the Catholic Church leaders also encourage their faithful to take an active role in politics, which includes seeking political power at all levels of the national governance structure.
“A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself/herself; so that those who govern can govern” (Pope Francis, Homily during morning Mass, l6th September, 2013). While doing so, we remind priests, religious men and women, catechists, heads of our institutions to refrain from making utterances or doing things that can justifiably be perceived as advancing partisan politics,” the statement reads in part.
“For the same reason, we the Catholic bishops in Malawi cannot, and shall not support or endorse any particular politician or political party,” further reads the statement.
Speaking, a fortnight ago, at Kaggwa Woyera Parish in Lilongwe, Vice-President Saulos Chilima, a staunch Catholic, asked Malawians to turn out in large numbers to register to vote in the May 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Registration for the tripartite elections started on June 26 and is expected to finish in November this year.