Clergy speak against some aid conditions

The clergy from the Southern Region has asked donors to spare the country from tough conditions attached to budgetary support.

The sentiments were made at Sanjika Palace on Friday when President Peter Mutharika hosted 202 religious leaders, to brief them on projects his administration was undertaking. Vicar – general of the Archdiocese of Blantyre Monsignor Boniface Tamani told reporters, after the audience with the President, that some donors were using aid to change the country’s values.

Some of the religious leaders interact after the audience with the President

“As clergy, we welcome the resumption of budgetary support to Malawi by the International Monetary Fund [IMF]. However, we do not want to see donors coming with conditions that are not in tandem with our culture and moral values.

“We believe we are on a right course to become an economically independent nation. The aid should, therefore, be a big boost to make us realise our goals quicker,” said Fr Tamani.

He also asked the government to push Admarc to start buying maize from farmers, saying the farmers were losing out [to vendors] in what he described as ‘daylight robbery’.

Publicity secretary for the Khadria Muslim Association of Malawi, Sheikh Jafali Kawinga, said the clergy was happy the President pin-pointed crucial issues rocking the country, such as corruption within the rank and file of the government.

“We are happy that the President looks set to pounce on some errant officials. Of late, we have seen him come out clearly to condemn corruption in awarding road construction projects.

“We feel this is very positive and we expect action to follow these pronouncements. As clergy, we want to take up development issues and spread them down to the laity because that is our role,” said Sheikh Kawinga.

President Mutharika, among others, briefed the faith leaders on efforts to develop the energy and water sectors, progress on community colleges and efforts to conserve the environment, including the state of the economy.

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