Malawi Today / New Evangelization Critical in Combating Social Evils – Chilima

By James Mwale

Lilongwe — Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima has said evangelization is currently the best way to combat the social evils that have gone viral across the African continent.

The Veep said this at Maula Parish in Lilongwe during the official closing mass of the 10-day Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) which was hosted by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) under the theme New Evangelisation through True Conversion and Witnessing to Christian Faith.

Chilima said: “Secularism, fundamentalism and individualism are already imaging among us and compromising our faith and there is no better way forward than to condemn and combat these social evils that are affecting Africa.”

He further pledged government’s continued support to the faith community in their quest of promoting lives of people through assorted development initiatives as inspired by faith, and urged political leaders in the AMECEA region to follow suit.

“I call upon the bishops here present and all government leaders in the AMECEA regionto continue promoting respect of freedom of worship,” said the vice president who also expressed compassion for the people going through unrest in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia, which are also within the AMECEA region.

During the AMECEA assembly, bishops and archbishops discussed and came with resolutions on assorted strategies of how best to effect evangelisation in the wake of the fast of evolving times the world is

strategies included respect for family as nucleus for social and religious communities, and use of Information and Communication Technology and social media in approaching evangelization.

Chilima has since urged Malawians to be the first in adopting the new resolutions.

During the 10 days of meeting, the bishops and archbishops also elected Most Rev. Brhaneyesus Souraphiel, Archbishop of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as the new AMECEA chairperson succeeding Archbishop of Lilongwe Archdiocese Tarcizio Ziyaye.

Malawi Today / Gender Based Violence High On Girl Child in Salima

 

Salima — Some chiefs from the area of T/A Kambwiri in Salima have reiterated that forced marriages for girls is a major common form of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the area.

The chiefs speaking in random interviews, on Tuesday at Lifidzi on the sideline of a workshop on GBV organized by National Association of People Living with HIV in Malawi (Napham), said the trend is also increasing HIV transmission among the girls.

“A major form of GBV common in this area is forced early marriages, which perpetrated on girls by either their parents or their guardians,” said Group Village Head Kumenya.

The chief said that the trend is also fueling the spread of HIV as the arranged marriages do not follow any caution measures such as going for HTC.

“Usually these children are married out to older men who had been married before or indulge in practices that puts them at risk of catching HIV, therefore they put these children at the same risk,” said the chief.

Group Village Mzembere also said that the practice has prevailed because of ignorance on the part of local leaders on Gender Based Violence and the law.

“I believe that we as chiefs have failed to stop this violence mainly because of ignorance, which has resulted into us failing to know difference between gender violence and the acceptable traditional practices or beliefs as a result when administering primary justice we have treated issues that according to law are categorized as violence as acceptable practices,” said Mzembere.

The chief explained that this failure of chiefs to punish or refer these cases to police or courts has resulted in the continued violence on the girl child.

He said with the training and skills imparted by Napham the chiefs will be proactive to ensure that all forms of GBV are minimized or stopped.

Napham organized the workshop as part of a two year project called ‘Positive voices against Gender Based Violence in Malawi.’

In an interview Napham District Coordinator Yanjano Mbendera said that the project is targeting community leaders, and other structures deemed crucial in the fight against GBV.

“We have targeted chiefs, Police officers mostly those working in the Victim Support Unit, Magistrates and reporters,” said Mbendera

Mbendera said that creating awareness among these key stakeholders will reduce GBV tremendously in the sense that the officials or leaders will be proactive in playing their roles.

From: Malawi News Agency

By Watson Maingo, 2 July 2014

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