Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of the Karonga Diocese says the presidential candidate who will emerge winner in the May elections should focus on ending abject poverty in the country.
Mtumbuka made the call during National Prayers and Signing of Peace Declaration ceremony organized by Public Affairs Committee in Lilongwe today.
Presidential candidates who signed the peace declaration were Dr Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party, UTM’s Dr Saulos Chilima, Professor John Chisi of Umodzi Party, Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front (UDF), Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) and independent candidate Reverend Hardwick Kaliya.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate President Peter Mutharika shunned the event which was held under the theme “Advancing peace in the quest for free, fair and credible elections.”
Speaking during the ceremony, Mtumbuka said the next president should develop policies aimed at ending poverty among Malawians.
“We are asking these gentlemen that when they win on 21 May they should work for the Malawians by looking at abject poverty that has engulfed the country and develop policies that will embrace Malawians at large,” he said.
Mtumbuka also asked the political leaders to avoid hate speeches even after the elections and to build a society free of violence, hate and corruption.
PAC Chairperson Felix Chingota commended the six candidates for attending the national prayers.
Chingota asked the candidates to put the peace declaration into action by among other things avoiding political violence.
UN Resident Coordinator Maria Jose Torres encouraged women to take part in the elections saying they are the ones who promote developmental projects.
On her part, Chairperson of MEC Justice Jane Ansah told the candidates to accept that in elections there can only be one winner.
She assured that MEC is there to conduct credible elections as the commission cannot fail Malawians.
“Both ballot papers and result sheds are secured and they cannot be fake and let me assure you that the monitors from different political parties will witness the process,” she said.