The Mangochi Diocese of the Catholic Church has appealed to youths in the diocese to refrain from acts of violence, especially now as the official campaign has kicked off.
The diocese’s communications secretary, Father Raphael Mkuzi, who is also the diocese’s pastoral secretary, said this in an interview on Monday.
Mkuzi’s remarks came after another priest, Father Kizito Khauya, observed on Sunday that youths are usually used by politicians to perpetuate violence, especially during campaign, citing the recent violence at Goliati in Thyolo.
Said Mkuzi: “We feel it is important as a church to advise our followers, especially youths, to handle themselves responsibly during this period. We have heard of acts of violence here and there, even before the campaign period was officially opened. This is not welcome and we appeal to the youth, especially in the Catholic Church and beyond to distance themselves from this act.”
He said the church looks at a human being as a spirit and body; hence, it has a responsibility to take care of it by preaching the word of God and ensuring that there is quality leadership.
“What we want to see on May 20 and beyond is quality leadership based on people’s expectations. If our leaders today are failing to deliver, then let us on May 20 elect leaders who will meet our demands and expectations. Violence cannot give us what we want, but only problems,” he added.
Mkuzi said the Catholic Church is equipped to reach out to many with electoral messages.
He also commended the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) for championing the violence-free campaign.
Mangochi Diocese comprises Machinga, Balaka and Mangochi districts.