We are in Bagamoyo – Bishops retell “The sad story of Malawi”

We are in Bagamoyo – Bishops retell “The sad story of Malawi”

Catholics Bishops in Malawi have lamented and denounced the sorry and dehumanizing state in which the people of Malawi are, four years after the Malawi Congress Party(MCP) led Tonse Alliance government was ushered into power. The sentiments were communicated through the Bishops’ Lenten Pastoral letter read across the country in all Catholic Churches on Sunday 25th February 2024.

Recounting the social, political, religious and economic ills Malawians are facing, the Bishops have likened the state of our nation to a notorious off sea shore town of Bagamoyo that signified loss of hope to slaves who arrived there during the slave trade. In their narration, the Bishops have said that the immense ills facing the nation have rendered the people hopeless like slaves that arrived at Bagamoyo, such that if not put under control, the nation will drift further into untold misery and inhumane situations.

Titled “The sad story of Malawi”, the pastoral letter lists a number of ills that have so far glaringly dragged Malawians into pitiful state. Most notable among these are: fruitless engagements with the president, corruption, endless expenditure by the leadership on trips, dubious awarding of contracts to corruption suspects, threats to freedom of speech, nepotism, non-commitment to proposed public service reforms, the failed AIP, depreciation of the local currency, untold hunger, university students withdrawn because of lack of fees, the corrupt and inefficient judiciary, victimization of old people accusing them of witch craft, environmental degradation, intraparty squabbles, and finally, religious intolerance and violence.

However, in complete show of faith in the kindness of God and his divine providence, the bishops have called on the people of Malawi not to lose faith and hope. Quoting scripture as in the book of Jeremiah 29:11, the Bishops liken the current state of the nation to the Israelites exile experience. Given false hope of immediate end to slavery by false prophets, the people of Israel lost hope seeing that the prophecy was not fulfilled. Jeremiah gives a bitter message of seventy years of slavery before their redemption but he urged people to hold on to their faith. With this message the Bishops have called on people to keep their faith and make sure that as they prepare for elections in 2025, all people must come out and exercise their constitutional right to vote for leaders who will put the welfare of Malawians as their main agenda.

Catholic Bishops release pastoral letters at the beginning of most important seasons of their liturgical year, addressing social, political, economic and religious issues affecting the people they serve.