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Livingstonia Synod chides government

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The Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) has spat fire at government for what it calls its perpetual failure to hold meaningful dialogue with relevant stakeholders on probable solutions to Malawi’s socio-economic challenges.

In its post general assembly communique released on Tuesday, the synod has said the government’s stance on dialogue is not sincere, since it wants to be listened to while it fails to do the same.

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Signed by the General Secretary, Levi Nyondo, and other senior clergy in the synod the write-up stresses that the collapse of dialogue between the government and the Public Affairs Committee (Pac) should be cause for worry.

“The latest developments on Pac points to a government that is not ready to listen; to say the least this erodes the importance that we attach to dialogue,” reads part of the communique.

Nyondo and colleagues then call for resumption of bilateral talks between the two, arguing constructive engagement is a major route to solving Malawi’s problems.

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Further to that, the synod has asked the government to engage all relevant parties on public universities’ fee hike stalemate, which has led to closure of the Polytechnic.

On the issue of corruption, the synod observes that the government has in recent times gone defensive on people and institutions being mentioned in the K236 billion scam.

The church organ further accuses government through the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for failing to show commitment in prosecuting people alleged to have corruptly bought houses from the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC).

Stating: “… The recent conduct of ACB in prosecuting corruption cases is questionable and worrisome. We are also concerned with increased cases of bribery, patronage and nepotism…”

Commenting on the problems in the health sector, the communique calls for speedy recruitment of nurses, medical doctors and other health professionals as one way of upholding Malawians’ health rights.

The synod argues that the continued collapse of the country’s health system is clear proof that the government has of late abrogated its responsibility of providing health services to its people.

The construction of the Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay and Njakwa Livingstonia Roads is a welcome development to the synod but on the other hand decries the stalling of Mzuzu-Bula-Usisya Road which they attribute to lack of a national development plan.

The synod observes: “Development projects are based on party manifesto of a ruling party, and good initiatives stall once it is booted out of power this defeats continuity and fair distribution of projects.”

While commending government for the ongoing public sector reforms, the synod expresses worry with the slow progress on the proposed electoral reforms which among other things call for a 50+1 system for presidential elections.

Commenting on the issues Wednesday, the government’s spokesperson Malison Ndau said in a telephone interview that the government has not abandoned talks with Pac, saying it realises it is the only way to cement its relationship with Malawians.

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