The Roman Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) and Islam have come out in the open to ostracize the use of modern methods of family planning to control overpopulation.
The clergy, in a debate monitored on Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) last weekend, said the methods are in conflict with the teachings of their faiths.
Father Emmanuel Kasaukani Chikaya of the Catholic Church said any action, which either before, at the moment, or after sexual intercourse is specifically intended to prevent procreation – whether as an end or as a means is morally inadmissible.
Chikaya said it would be against the will of God to go beyond the Creator’s plan as clearly indicated in the biological process.
“In conformity with these values, the church draws a line between artificial and natural methods of birth regulation. It is illicit to take into account the natural rhythms in generative functions.
“This then leaves complete sexual abstinence and the rhythm method [that is the restriction of sexual relations to the infertile periods in the woman’s menstrual cycle] as the only morally permissible methods of family planning,” he said.
Both Sheikh Muhammad Shaibu and Pastor Nayupe of SDA spoke in support of Chikaya.
Malawi’s current population was estimated at 14.4 million in 2011, up from 13 million reported in the 2008 Population and Housing Census (PHC), with women making up approximately 51 percent of the total population.
The Ministry of Health has projected that Malawi’s population will reach 16.3 million by 2016 if there are no measures to control childbirths. Government integrated family planning programmes into service delivery to control overpopulation.
Clergy urged to propagate issue-based voting
WATIPASO MZUNGU JNR
The National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust has advised faith leaders to utilise the pulpit in propagating issue-based choice of leaders vying for elective positions in the 2014 Tripartite Elections.
Nice district civic education officer (DCEO) for Thyolo, Moses Kaunda observed last Saturday that the authority and influence religious leaders enjoy in society is fundamental to the promotion and entrenchment of civilised politics in the country.
He made the remarks at Bvumbwe Trading Centre during a day-long workshop aimed at supporting the establishment of conflict management structures in Thyolo North Constituency.
He said experience from past elections shows that people choose leaders based on tribe, region and language rather than sound policies.
He emphasised that this pattern of voting is detrimental to the growth of democracy in the country.
Kaunda expressed disappointment that Malawi appears to have stagnated in politics of regionalism and tribalism 20 years after the return of multiparty system of governance.
“Nice believes that faith leaders can play a very pivotal role in people’s mindset on what needs to be considered before deciding on who to cast our ballots for. Therefore, as we are propagating for the issue-based campaign ahead of the tripartite elections, let us also stress on the need to choose leaders based on their manifestoes rather than proximity, tribe or language,” he said.
President of Bvumbwe Pastors’ Fraternal, Bishop Fexon Kamwendo, said his group has already instituted a number of measures to achieve an end to politics of castigation and empty promises.
Kamwendo said among others, candidates who have succeeded in their respective party primaries will be required to submit their manifestoes for scrutiny and interpretation by various faith groups.
“By interpreting the candidates’ policies in our churches and mosques, we will be helping members make informed choices,” he said.