Political party leaders, including President Peter Mutharika, today join Malawians in celebrating Christmas with messages of peace despite the current political differences that have emerged following the disputed May 21 presidential election.
December 25, is a day when Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, widely regarded as their Lord and Saviour. For years, the spirit of Christmas has been characterised by love, sharing and peace.
In the same spirit of Christmas, Mutharika, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, UTM Party leader Saulos Chilima and former State president Bakili Muluzi have taken time off to celebrate the occasion and to call for peace and unity as the country awaits the outcome of the presidential election case being heard in the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court in Lilongwe.
In a statement issued yesterday, signed by presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani, Mutharika wishes Malawians Merry Christmas and urges them to reject politics of violence, emphasising that Malawi is a peace-loving country.
He observed that Jesus Christ was born to teach peace and love on earth and urged Malawians to celebrate Christmas season by deeply reflecting on the values of love and peace.
Reads the statement in part: “As peaceful people, the President urges all to reject politics of violence, say no to politics of violence. If some people ask you to destroy police units, businesses, government property and beat up people, you must refuse.
“The President is urging every Malawian to be patriotic and love the country. Malawi is the only country we have. This country is for us and our children, and is bigger than us all, bigger than any individual.”
Mutharika claimed that he is aware that some politicians are visiting churches, telling religious leaders to mobilise people for violence if the court case goes against them, saying: “Let us tell them that this is not what Christ stood for. Jesus stood for peace.”
The President further appealed to all people using the country’s roads during the festive season to be extra careful to avoid road accidents.
Asked what their Christmas messages are, bearing in mind that the 2019 Christmas season comes amid political tension in the aftermath of the May 21 polls, Chakwera in a written response appealed to Malawians to maintain peace, law and order.
He thanked Malawians for being patient with the court case where he, as second petitioner and Chilima as first petitioner, are seeking electoral justice for the 2019 presidential election.
Said Chakwera: “Now that the court case has ended and Christmas has begun; let us place our faith in Christ, the Righteous Judge, to lead the court towards the shores of justice. Let us maintain law and order and keep the peace as we wait for the court to deliver its ruling.
“Whatever the outcome, the Christmas story gives us a solid guarantee: That in the midst of the injustice and oppression we suffer, Christ is for us, Christ suffers with us, and Christ frees us.”
On his part, Chilima, in a written response also wished Malawians a merry Christmas and Happy and Prosperous 2020.
On the election case, the immediate-past vice-president could not directly comment on the matter.
Said Chilima: “I agree that we are a nation at a standstill ahead of the court ruling. Let’s keep our faith in the God we trust. No matter how long and no matter how far; we shall overcome.”
Former president Bakili Muluzi in an interview yesterday also wished all Christians in the country a joyous Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all.
He said the 2019 festive season, coming at a time political tension is high owing to the electoral court case, must be used to heal the nation.