By James Mwale:
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has called on Malawians to embrace theological concepts in migration from current line of thinking, if the country is to succeed in its pursuit of Malawi 2063 Agenda.
The President was speaking at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe on Thursday during the official launch of Theological Society of Malawi, which he presided over.
Chakwera said theology plays a central role in ones beliefs, attitudes and values about the world they live in, the origin and destiny.
He said the beliefs and attitudes, in turn, drive how one behaves towards his surrounding and the world around him.
“Our view of the world is what drives our life in the world. And here in Malawi, we are able to look around us and see a country in desperate need of change.
“Every Malawian is able to see that we need new roads, new hospitals, new transport system, new schools, new universities, new trade deals and new cities.
“But what is not obvious to everyone, which is actually the most important thing, is that if Malawi is going to have all these things we have great appetite for, then the first thing Malawi must get is a new kind of citizen,” he said.
He added that the broken healthcare system the country has did not break by itself but rather by citizens with a broken mindset.
“The corrupt state we are working to clean up now did not corrupt itself. It was corrupted by citizens with a corrupted mindset change.
“The substandard roads, buildings and farms that have created substandard services and products that cannot compete on the world market did not create themselves; they were created by citizens with a substandard mindset,” he added.
Chakwera further said if Malawians are going to achieve the new objectives outlined as a nation in Malawi 2063, then they need a new kind of citizen with a new kind of thinking and a new kind of seeing the world.
He stated that one fundamental broken way of thinking the country has is that from top to bottom, everyone thinks that the only responsibility they have is to point out what is wrong with their country, and that the one responsible for the wrong is someone else, hence the thinking that the responsibility of solving that which we see as wrong falls on the one we point at as the responsible one.
In her earlier remarks, Minister of Education, Agnes NyaLonje, said from the Malawi 2063 perspective, her ministry is responsible for Enabler 5 which is Human Capital Development that she said could be fully developed and future-looking if Mindset Change was in active play.
“To realise mindset change, there is need for us all Malawians to embrace moral values that are critical to the creation of a society with integrity. Theology has (always) been one of the gatekeeper fields for morals and values.
“In this regard, the Theological Society of Malawi can play a role in contributing significantly to the mindset change that we seek,” she said.
In his remarks, Chairperson of the Societys Executive Committee, Rev. Dr. Felix Nyika, said one of the objectives of establishing the Theological Society of Malawi institution about three years ago was to address issues of national interest.
He cited issues such as giving opinion and advice on matters that affect the nation at large, and to bring theological perspectives bare on social, economic and political issues that present themselves in Malawi and the world at large.
The launch of the theological body was also held along with the launch of a book: “Decolonising the Theological Curriculum in an Online Age.”
The book is a collection of essays researched by scholar members of the society on interpretation of Africa at large, and Malawi in particular, of theological concepts in contrast with Western interpretations.