Catholic Church Criticises Malawi President’s Style Of Leadership

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The Catholic church in Malawi has criticised President Lazarus Chakwera, saying the country has become worse in the four years of his leadership.

In a scathing attack that appears to be directed at the president, the church, through its bishops, said “We have witnessed a glaring failure of leadership”.

“Most Malawians fail to see anybody in the current government who cares about them or who can improve their situation,” it added.

In a 16-page pastoral letter titled “The Sad Story of Malawi”, read out in all Catholic churches across the country on Sunday, it accused the administration of multiple failures including unfulfilled campaign promises, nepotism and rampant corruption.

The letter also suggested that when appointing officials, Mr Chakwera’s government favours people from the president’s ethnic group or region.

“It is essential to ask of candidates, what their record of service has been, what they are capable of doing, before voting for them – not who they are or where they come from or what connections they have,” the church wrote.

The letter also said the government had failed to raise people’s incomes even after the purchasing power of the local currency, the Malawian kwacha, had drastically fallen.

The church said it had attempted to privately engage with Mr Chakwera several times but had been largely unsuccessful, hence the decision to try a different approach through the letter.

Malawi’s information minister, Moses Kunkuyu has acknowledged the issues raised by the church but says the government will not engage in an item-by-item response to the letter.

“Instead we will not get tired of utilising engagements we do have with the clergy from time to time,” Mr Kunkuyu said.