By Blessings Kaunda-Mana
State President, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has urged faith leaders and Civil Society Organizations (CSO) to join hands with government for continued development in the country.
Speaking Sunday at St Andrews Church of Central African Church Presbytery of Livingstonia Synod, during farewell church service for the outgoing Livingstonia Synod, General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Levi Nyondo, Former President, Dr. Joyce Banda who represented President Chakwera said the President was open to all faith leaders and other organizations for dialogue.
“The President’s message is that faith leaders are a focal point of development therefore calls for support from them and should open to discuss with him when they note challenges in his leadership,” she said.
Banda said Rev. Dr. Levi Nyondo is a person Malawi would live to remember for his good work as he could provide guidance to government on issues impeding Malawians’ human rights.
“Nyondo was a courageous person. He was able to criticized politicians on various issues such as the education quarter system and we are now pleased that the system is history because of his courage and his fighting spirit for the voiceless,” she added.
Banda who is also President for People’s Party (PP) urged the synod’s new General Secretary, Rev William Tembo to continue from where Nyondo has stopped.
“The President sent me to thank Rev. Nyondo for his fearlessness and courage in championing peace and justice. I think all Malawians will testify that the president’s message is a reflection of what we all know,” the Former President added.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa advised Rev. Tembo to emulate the fighting for the poor and voiceless as demonstrated by Rev. Nyondo.
“I can say that the relationship between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Synod’s former General Secretary was always cordial despite some misunderstandings at certain times, but that is history. We are appreciating and commemorating Rev. Nyondo’s contributions to the nation,” he said.
Nankhumwa pointed out that the Synod must therefore not keep quiet whenever things are going wrong in government, advising Rev. Tembo to be providing checks and balances to government at all times.
“What we are saying is that the Tonse Alliance Government cannot always be right and we equally need the church to intervene when government seems to be going wrong,” he added.
On his part, Rev. Nyondo advised the new Synod’s General Secretary to be committed to pray for him to provide better leadership to the church.
“He really needs to be using common sense. To be a General Secretary is not to be a boss but to be a servant of people and he should always be prayerful otherwise he cannot even finish one year in office,” he said.
Nyondo reminded the Tonse Alliance Government to fulfill its pledges it made during the campaign period.
“This government pledged a lot of things to Malawians during its campaign and we are still awaiting fulfillment of these promises. Now, I am a pastor though not in office but I will still use my methodologies to remind you of the pledges,” he revealed.
Rev Nyondo has been the synod’s General Secretary and Moderator for 14 years.
The ceremony was attended by various religious leaders who included Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese and Bishop, Faniel Magangani of the Anglican Diocese of Northern Malawi.