We, the Catholic Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, gathered for our Second Bi-annual session from 20th to 23 rd June 2005, aware of our mission of shepherding, conscientizing and guiding the people of God, would like to raise some concerns on the current state of affairs in our country.
We are aware of the perception of many Malawians about what is happening today in the political arena and Parliament. The debates and priority given to the different bills seem to greatly fall short of the expected standard. The nation expects parliamentarians to constructively debate on the budget and focus on issues that will contribute to the common good and the building of a nation rather than wasting time on political bickering, personal differences, matters that are divisive and detrimental to the economy and social welfare of the country. This also affects the credibility which Malawi is trying to gain at the international level.
We have noted with concern, the conduct and behaviour of some of our politicians which reflect an attitude that lacks seriousness and a sense of responsibility. People elected into public offices and positions are meant to be at service of the common good of the citizens of this country.
God's love for the human race frees people and empowers them to “do nothing out of selfishness or out of vain glory; rather, humbly to regard others as more important, each looking out not for his/her own interest but everyone for others”(cf. Phil 2:3-8). We exhort all politicians and all public figures, whom Malawians have mandated to act on their behalf, to refrain from being driven by selfish motives but to work in unity and love for the building of our nation. Politicians and public figures should be responsible and committed to their call of serving the people who elected them and particularly having at heart the needs of the poor and many others who are under the scourge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the food shortage and are adversely affected by poverty.
We urge parliamentarians to have love for their people and promote a sense of unity and peace in our beloved country. We appeal to all Malawians to uphold our traditional values of solidarity and oneness because divided we fall, united we stand. “God is love and if we love one another, God remains in us and his love is brought to perfection.” (cf. 1John 4:11 -12)
Archbishop T G ZiyayeChairman, Episcopal Conference of Malawi.