HomeColumnsOpinionOn pastoral letter: Embracing Challenges as opportunities to National prosperity

On pastoral letter: Embracing Challenges as opportunities to National prosperity

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In this opinion, Governance and Human Rights Advocate Undule Mwakasungula analyses opportunities the February 25, 2024, Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops in Malawi presents to both the government and citizens. Excerpts:

In the spirit of enhancing constructive dialogue in Malawi, the Pastoral Letter issued by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi on Sunday 25th February, 2024 stands as an opportunity for reflection on the nation’s socio-political and economic state.  The letter must be seen as rooted in the Catholic Church’s commitment for justice and moral governance, echoing the calls for attention and action by the government.

This Pastoral Letter is a testament to the important role of the Church and religious leaders in shaping national affairs.  Their voice, both spiritual and societal, offers invaluable guidance and wisdom in addressing challenges and promoting peace.

While the challenges outlined in the Bishops’ letter are familiar to many, it is crucial to recognize the signs of progress and hope amidst these challenges. Despite facing governance and economic challenges, Malawi has made commendable progress towards addressing these issues. Efforts such as stabilizing the economy, normalizing fuel and forex shortages, the focus on agriculture through Mega Farms initiatives, the regaining of international trust and confidence demonstrate notable progress that cannot be overlooked.  We cannot hide these progress under the carpet.

We must acknowledge governments are primarily elected to address citizens’ needs, but it is equally important to acknowledge and celebrate positive developments and effective governance practices.  This balanced approach enhances transparency, inclusivity, and trust in governmental actions and policies.

For such efforts to be understood and appreciated by citizens, the government therefore must amplify its engagement with Malawians, ensuring transparency and inclusivity in its actions and policies. By doing so, it not only enhances trust but also build a sense of shared responsibility and ownership over the nation’s path to progress.

As we reflect on the challenges and progress it is imperative to maintain a hopeful outlook.  The challenges as raised in the Pastoral letter might look big, but they are not insurmountable, we will overcome them. The spirit of resilience and determination that characterizes the Malawian people collectively will lead towards a brighter Malawi.

The Pastoral Letter, therefore serves as a timely reminder of the government’s obligations towards its citizens.  a call for a better Malawi, where justice, peace, and prosperity are not just aspirations but realities for all.   The letter must not merely be about acknowledging the present difficulties but about collectively seen striving towards improvement, unity, and the advancement of Malawi as a nation.

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