Malawi is sliding back to bad governance, where ills such as corruption, political violence and tribalism are thriving because of lack of decisive, ethical and transformative leadership.
This is the verdict by Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) in a stinging pastoral letter to be read out, today, in its 68 church denominations and 58 Christian organisations.
In the letter, titled ‘A call for decisive, ethical and selfless leadership’, Christians are urged to pray to God to give Malawi a better future, partly through quality leadership in next year’s Tripartite Elections.
It says although government has made efforts towards substantive democratic governance, it has been found wanting in the fight against corruption, the apparent suppression of electoral reforms, and the failure to deliver the development citizens deserve.
“The overall picture, however, seems to be mostly negative in a sense that Malawi is back to bad governance. The situation is further worsened by the lack of decisive, ethical and selfless transformative leadership in strategic positions of authority and influence at all levels in our country,” the letter states.
On corruption, it says leadership has shown a lack of firm political will.
“There has been more rhetoric than real action. Political will is critical if corruption is to be dealt with completely in our society. The executive arm of government must, therefore, take the lead in spearheading the anti-corruption drive in the country, leaving no sacred cows,” says the letter, adding that government needs to adequately fund the Anti-Corruption Burea (ACB) and the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) for good results.
On electoral reforms, EAM takes exception that the government seemed to have shot down its own Bills in Parliament, including the popular 50+1 Bill of electing the President.
“The shooting down of these reform bills is, therefore, a great insult on the people of Malawi who had invested so much resources and energy in the drafting of the same,” the letter laments, adding that the development threatens the growth of democracy in the country.
Signed by EAM board chairperson Chatha Msangaambe and general secretary the Reverend Francis Mkandawire, the letter says government has failed by not speeding up the rolling out of the Access to Information (ATI) Bill, and stopping the State broadcaster, [Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)] from biased reporting.
The government should also have done well by stopping the insecurity faced by people living with albinism in the country, political violence, and by delivering better education and health services to citizens, the letter adds.
The pastoral letter is one of several such given by various churches, which also, dwelt on many governance failures.