Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - "You have to choose the Malawi you want. Currently, things are not okay and we cannot continue with the way things are. You have that responsibility and power to choose the future", exhorted Msgr. Martin Anwel Mtumbuka, Bishop of Karonga, President of the Pastoral Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Malawi, before the women members of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) of Malawi, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. "Malawi is facing many challenges that seriously affect people's lives due to the deep economic crisis", added the Bishop of Karonga, who urged the women of the CWO to "use your influence to elect leaders who can address these issues". Monsignor George Tambala, Archbishop of Lilongwe, also participated in the 50th anniversary ceremony of the Association of Catholic Women, held on July 22 at the Lilongwe stadium, urging the women to stay together and continue doing good work to contribute to help develop the Church and the country: "When I see you, I see a great future, the works you do contribute significantly to the development of the Church and the nation so remain united and focused on the values and vision of CWO".
Speaking on behalf of the World Union of Catholic Women Organisation, Tanzania Catholic Women president Eveline Mtenga urged the women to continue making significant contributions in the country. "We have different talents which we should use to benefit others, whatever we are capable of doing let’s do it in a positive way to contribute to the development of Malawi", said Mtenga, who also heads the African Catholic Women Organization.
The anniversary was commemorated under the theme ‘Women are the pillar of the church’. It was attended by five Catholic bishops, priests, nuns and women from across the country and abroad.
The serious economic crisis that Malawi is going through, mentioned by the two bishops, is exemplified by the high inflation rate, which in April 2023 stood at 28.8%, compared to 15.7% in April 2022. Despite the start of the tobacco marketing season, Malawi continues to face a foreign exchange deficit, barely covering a month of imports, against a three-month low. The worsening economic situation has led to an increase in the cost of goods and food, aggravated by fuel shortages, which have increased transport and production costs, pushing up the prices of food and other goods, which has aggravated the already precarious conditions of the poorest and most indigent families. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 26/7/2023)