Malawi Government Acknowledges Receipt of Catholic Bishops’ Criticism “with appreciation”

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) pose with President Lazarus Chakwera. Credit: ECM

The Government of Malawi has acknowledged receipt of the pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops in the country faulting it for failing Malawians in a spirit of thankfulness and understanding.

In a press statement dated February 25, the same day members of the the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) issued their 14-page 11-point statement criticizing President Lazarus Chakwera-led Tonse Government, Malawi Government Spokesperson, Moses Kunkuyu Kalongashawa, declines engaging the Catholic Bishops in an “item-by-item response”.

In their pastoral letter read across all Catholic Churches in the southern African nation on Sunday, February 25, ECM members faulted the government of Malawi for not taking citizens to the “promised land” as promised during the political campaigns ahead of the 2020 general elections.

“The pastoral letter by Catholic Bishops in Malawi has been received by the Government with appreciation, wisdom, and humility,” Mr. Kunkuyu says.

The government official says that the criticism by the Catholic Church leaders has been received and that the government of Malawi remains “determined to use the bishops’ wisdom to continue building on the progress the country is making.”


In the pastoral letter titled, “The Sad Story of Malawi”,  the Catholic Bishops said that under the leadership of President Chakwera, Malawians “have witnessed a glaring failure of leadership”, and as a result, “are bogged down in the same land we wanted to leave, namely the land of hunger, disease, poverty, corruption, and the like.”

“Most Malawians, except the very few well-connected ones, feel strongly that there is nothing else they can do to turn around the country or improve the deteriorating living conditions,” Catholic Bishops in Malawi lamented.

The Catholic Church leaders also decried corruption and nepotism, and faulted government officials  for engaging in “empty words” in their respective “speeches about curtailing expenditure on leadership”. 

In the government press statement, Malawi government spokesperson says the country’s leadership “will not engage in item-by-item response with the clergy in public.” 

Instead, Mr. Kunkuyu says, “we will not get tired utilizing the engagements that we do have with the clergy from time to time.”

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“We also trust that we will continue praying for each other and our beloved country, Malawi,” he adds in the February 25 press statement. 

In their pastoral letter, Catholic Bishops in Malawi expressed their hope that the Lenten Season “call to conversion and our celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter” will “mark the beginning of a new dawn for all Malawians.”

ECM members implored, “May St. Joseph, the foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ, watch over our country and obtain from God a spirit of integrity, justice, patriotism, love and peace in Malawi.”

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