Malawi: Karonga Faith Leaders Asked to Desist From Active Politics

Karonga — Chairperson for Karonga Pastors Fraternal, Pastor Benson Chikapa has asked pastors in the district to desist from participating in active politics but to be praying for peaceful May 21 Tripartite Elections.

This comes amidst concerns that faith leaders are dictating their congregations on who to vote for during the elections.

Chikapa was speaking recently at Mlare Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) in Karonga during district prayers for peaceful elections.

Chikapa said it is shameful to note that some faith leaders are busy practicing active politics by advocating who their congregations should vote for.

"It is very sad and shameful to hear that some faith leaders are taking such sides with some presidential candidates and political parties instead of encouraging their faithful to vote for leaders of their choice.

I would like to ask them a question, what would happen if the candidates they are advocating for do not win come May21? What are they going to tell their members?" wondered Chikapa.

He said the pastors decided to hold the prayers at Mlare CCAP which is in Karonga Central constituency considering that people in the area are mostly associated with political violence.

Also speaking at the prayer ceremony, World Vision Zone Manager for the north, Immaculate Botomani whose organisation supported the faith leaders to hold the prayers said the organization decided to be associated with the prayer ceremony because it believes that there cannot be any development without peace.

"World Vision, being a child focused organization, believes that where there is violence, it is usually children and mothers who suffer most hence our involvement in organizing the prayers which aim at averting any potential politically related violence towards the May 21 elections," said Botomani.

She said following the prayers the organization is sure that after the elections, all the competitors will co-exist and continue to work together in developing the country.

Guest of honour at the event, Senior Traditional Authority Kalonga thanked the faith leaders for organizing the prayers especially that the district has several areas which are hotspots for political violence.

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