The CCAP Synod of Livingstonia has asked Atupele Muluzi, who is running mate for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance to preach peace and avoid provocative statements ahead of the forthcoming fresh presidential poll.
Mchengautuwa Parish minister in Mzuzu, Alfred Mtonga made the call yesterday when Muluzi attended prayers at the church alongside other DPP and UDF leaders, including Goodall Gondwe, Jappie Mhango and Christopher Mzomera Ngwira.
In his message, Mtonga observed that the country has been going through turbulent times, fearing that the violence manifesting in the ongoing campaign may worsen the situation in the country.
He, therefore, called on Muluzi to focus on issues during campaign, and not mudslinging which leads to violence.
Said Mtonga: “I am appealing to the leadership to be in the forefront condemning acts of violence. If they don’t condemn, people begin to think that the leaders are condoning such acts.
“Let leaders be in the forefront condemning these acts so that Malawi should continue to live in peace, with love. With violence, there can be no development. We are also telling our members to be [instruments]of peace.”
On his part, Muluzi, who recently courted controversy for using religion to de-campaign others, said he will adopt peace messages so that the country returns to normalcy.
Said Muluzi: “The country has been going through a very turbulent 12 months with respect to the political situation in the country and President Peter Mutharika has consistently called for peace.
“The call is for all Malawians to remain united, and the Church has played an important role in ensuring that they spread the message of peace and unity. We have to be united irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation.”
Meanwhile, governance, security and peace studies lecturer at Mzuzu University Eugenio Njoloma has advised politicians to desist from divisive rhetoric where they want to monopolise or claim to have control over a particular sect of people.
He said the current spate of political violence is a manifestation of a deep-seated problem that is rooted in ethnicity and regionalism.
Said Njoloma: “Further to this, politicians must refrain from standing on political rhetoric that stokes disunity. Instead, they must strive to establish political parties with a national appeal so as to be able to reach out to every Malawian with real socioeconomic issues that affect their lives.”
Muluzi is in the Northern Region to conduct campaign rallies for the DPP-UDF alliance ahead of the fresh presidential poll.
Later in the afternoon, Muluzi distributed maize flour to 400 people at Katoto Secondary School ground and promised that 1 000 more bags and soap would be distributed tomorrow.
He said the exercise was a continuation of what he had started before the campaign period and must not be looked at as handouts.