Catholic Bishops of Madagascar remind Politicians of their duty to serve the country and not to enrich themselves
The Catholic Bishops of Madagascar released a pastoral letter a few days ago calling upon the presidential candidates in the coming general elections to put the common good at the centre of their campaigns. The country has been suffering political instability triggered by a popular uprising in 2005. Then in 2009 the president was overthrown by the army and replaced by a Disc Jockey by the names of Andry Rajoelina. After a series of negotiations mediated by the African Union and the Southern Africa Development Community, SADC, the government led by Rajoelina is to be replaced by an elected government. The elections had been scheduled for July this year, but were postponed last month to a date that is still to be announced. In the pastoral letter the bishops appealed to the politicians to be conscious that Madagascar is not for sale and that they should remain trustworthy citizens. They also expressed concern over the widening gap between the rich and the poor. They noted that the country is endowed with a variety of natural resources, but despite that majority of the citizens are still trapped in the vicious circle of poverty. Instead of creating jobs and improving the living conditions of the Malagasy people, the mineral wealth is looted by multinational corporations with the complicity of the country’s national leaders, the pastoral letter said. The bishops said many multinational companies avoid paying taxes in Madagascar and in their home countries by investing their profits in fiscal paradises, and by so doing they deny the local communities the resources that are rightfully theirs.