Malawi's Catholic bishops criticize government in Easter message

Posted: Friday, April 05, 2002

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) -- Malawi's seven Roman Catholic bishops issued an Easter message attacking the government as not aggressive enough in fighting corruption and a food crisis.

The message, read in churches throughout the country, said the government should bring down the price of corn meal, Malawi's staple food.

A famine has affected more than three-quarters of Malawi's 11 million people. President Bakili Muluzi has declared a state of national disaster.

The bishops of the southeast African nation also issued a veiled attack on the ruling United Democratic Front party's attempts to change the constitution to pave the way for Bakili Muluzi to stand for a third term in the 2004 election.

The Catholic Church, the largest in Malawi, is credited with helping bring democratic reform to the country.

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