Former Malawi vice-president Dr Justin Malewezi says there is deep-rooted secrecy in the running of churches and faith-based organisations (FBOs) in the country.
Malewezi said this in Balaka on Wednesday when he presided over the official opening of the Baptist Convention of Malawi (Bacoma) church leaders’ workshop on corporate governance.
The workshop was organised by the Institute of Church Management (ICM) to equip pastors and leaders of FBOs with administration and general management skills.
The former vice-president said from time immemorial, faith leaders have held the notion that only government and civil society organisations (CSOs) should be subjected to transparency and accountability measures, leaving out churches, which are mostly deemed clean by laymen.
Malewezi said it is hypocritical for churches to criticise government and CSOs for lacking transparency and accountability when faith leaders themselves are failing to live by the same standards and practices.
“Churches, too, need to be open, transparent and accountable in their dealings if they are to earn their followers’ trust. The stakeholders [Christians] should know how the church is being managed so that they can support and fully participate in church-related activities,” he said.
Malewezi said ICM is a crucial platform for promoting corporate governance in churches.
ICM president Pastor Rustin Kalenga said the institute will be providing training in a wide range of church-related areas on corporate governance, strategic planning, project management and financial management.
The institute will also offer courses in fighting corruption, human rights, conflict management, HIV and Aids, gender, procurement and supply management, governance and democracy, according to Kalenga.