Political parties must desist from violence during the campaign period or their rallies risk suffering low patronage, the Livingstones Baptist Church has warned.
The warning follows the riots that broke out at Goliati Trading Centre in Thyolo last Sunday and the burning of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vehicle in Mzuzu.
At the Goliati fracas, two people—a police officer and a civilian—lost their lives.
Commenting on the developments on Wednesday, resident pastor for Kamba Livingstones Baptist Church, Reverend Billy Kamphata Banda, said he would be reluctant to encourage his faithful to patronise political rallies, saying doing so would be subjecting innocent people to violence.
“Surely, faith leaders would agonise over sending their children to patronise a rally where one would lose life. Politicians must desist from acts of violence; otherwise, as loving parents, we wouldn’t be encouraging our members to patronise political rallies,” said Banda.
The pastor said engaging in violence signifies lack of issues politicians need to address during their rallies.
Banda challenged the electorate to do thorough soul-searching on the leadership the country needs after the May 20 tripartite elections.
“People must ask themselves whether we need selfish leaders who don’t care about the needs of their constituents. People should be worried about how to find leaders who can protect and defend the rights of Malawians,” he said.