The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has called on Malawians to be transparent and accountable in all their dealings.
The call comes at a time reports of corruption and embezzlement of public funds are rife in all sectors, including churches.
Speaking, on Friday in Lilongwe, on the sidelines of the launch of ECM’s new five-year strategic framework, the conference’s chairperson Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, said issues of accountability are a problem everywhere, including the church.
“As a church, we depend on donors and members of the church. If we are to earn their trust, we need to be accountable on the way we use resources.
“The issue of integrity is a problem everywhere, but the church needs to be in the forefront for others to follow. In Malawi, there are many problems, including hunger and political instability, and if the church is accountable, it can lessen some of these challenges,” the archbishop said.
He added that the new framework demands ECM and its affiliates to focus on results as well as to draw maximum measures on issues of accountability.
According Msusa, the new strategic plan affirms the Catholic Church’s desire to reorganise itself into three directorates of pastoral, social development and finance, investment and administration.
He said with the framework in place, the Catholic Church will seek to work in all areas of development and religious support as one organisation.
ECM secretary general Fr Henry Saindi is quoted in the framework document as saying the approach and methodology used in developing it was participatory and consultative.
“I believe, therefore, that the responsibility for the effectiveness and successful implementation of this strategic framework depends on the strengths of all concerned stakeholders, the Catholic Church members and church groups, church commissions, departments and institutions,” he said.
The plan, which was facilitated by consultant Jacob Mapemba, has been developed with funding and technical support from Caritas Australia, Catholic Relief Services, Trocaire and Caritas Norway. n