22 February 2013

Malawi: Bishops Urge Govt to Act On Hard-Hitting Economy

Lilongwe — Catholic Bishops in Malawi today-February 22 urged the Government to show serious responsibility in proactively dealing with economic hardships that face the country from time to time.

The Bishops in their press statement, issue by its Commission for justice and peace, signed by the Commission National Secretary Mr Chris Chisoni and entitled: Solidarity with the Civil servants: A Call for justice and responsibility, said the Government must not wait for ugly scenes and complete paralysis of its businesses for it to take essential and concrete steps towards effective solutions.

"Dialogue inspired by empathy with the civil servants must always be desired and must influence swift actions and responses," they emphasized.

"Civil servants," the Bishops said, "ought always to propose reasonable and fair salary structural changes that our government can afford to implement; this is taking into consideration the other over-burdening responsibilities that Malawi government has to fulfill towards the common good of all Malawians."

The Bishops urged Parliamentarians to quickly respond to the salary structural disparities by proposing and legislating on measures that should take away the financial woes from citizens and civil servants.

"This midterm budget review is the opportune time not overlooking the next budget sitting. If it is the parliament of the people for the people and must benefit the people, then, action now for the better lives of the people is a must," explained the Bishops.

They stated that Faith-based Institutions, NGOs CSOs should mobilize themselves in support of the civil servants and the general citizenry by way of pushing the agenda of government to review the current economic policy framework that is causing misery and destitution.

"Let us not politicize this to seek votes in 2014. Let us collaborate our efforts to push this government top leadership to proactively respond to these challenges. Let us work together as a country facing a huge problem causing death and destitution," observed the Bishops.

The Bishops urged media houses in the country to bring forward cases to amplify the cause for the friends demonstrating for better packages resulting from the hard-hitting economic policies.

And to all Malawians, the Bishops reminded that "service delivery by government is huge and if paralyzed due to any impasse between government and civil servants, we all lose and this is a recipe for more problems for this country."

"We are direct and only in few occasions indirect beneficiaries of our civil service provisions. We must show compassion and we must in solidarity act together," the Bishops concluded.

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