Malawi Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima on Sunday (today) morning shocked Malawians when he read the Saturday’s Catholic Bishops’ letter during the Church service at St Patrick Church in Area 18 in Lilongwe that urges Roman Catholic members in the country to join the 13th December, 2017 demonstration.
The demonstration has been organized by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC), a group of members of clergy against government failure to table the electoral reform bills during the current sitting of Parliament as promised before.
As part of their support to the PAC’s national wide demonstration plan, the Roman Catholic Bishops penned its priests across the country to inform its members to come in large number to the 13th December, 2017 demonstration.
Opposition parties, civil society organisations and donors community are also in support for the bill apart from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) where Chilima is a member.
After being assigned to read the letter which this reporter understand that it is strongly against government and his party’s stand, Chilima as a senior member of the Church had no choice but to urge the members to go on the street on 13th December, 2017 as per Bishops’ letter.
However, Chilima did not disclosed whether he will also go to the street as a Roman Catholic member.
Below is the Bishops’ letter that the Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima read during the Church service;
I write this letter to officially inform you about the forthcoming Peaceful Marches organized
by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) slated for 13th December, 2O17.
During their Extraordinary Meeting held from 23th-30th November, 2O17 at the Catholic Secretariat,
Lilongwe, the Bishops endorsed the peaceful marches on the basis that ECM is a member of
PAC. The marches will be held under the themei “We Demand Transformative Leadership:
Now is the Time to Reclaim our Destiny.”
In the pursuit of advancing the implementation of Electoral and Local Government
Reforms, PAC undertook several activities as a follow up to 5th All-lnclusive Stakeholders
Conference in February,2OLG which were ratified by PAC Annual General Assembly in
December 20L6. To this end, the following interventions have been carried out:
a) lssued a statement in April 2Ot7 on “Unfulfilled Promises and Deep-rooted
Corruption” in which PAC took a position that the DPP Government had failed;
b) Held a 5+L Conference in June2OtT where delegates adopted recommendations;
g) PAC entered into dialogue with Government through Government Technical Team
(GTT) upon recommendation from the Conference;
Meanwhile some Malawians said the development will completely destroy the already crippled relationship between him and DPP members.