Dar es Salaam. Bishops under the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) yesterday released a circular on this year’s lent season as they delivered their evangelicals message to believers but also highlighted the country’s need for the rule of law and ethics in political governance.
The circular, whose theme is literally translated as: “The 2020 Lent message: Thy Kingdom Come,” was issued by 33 bishops from across dioceses of the Roman Catholic church in Tanzania, led by the President of TEC, Bishop Gervas Nyaisonga.
Although the circular does not specifically point to a particular political issue in Tanzania, it comes at a time when in many circles, whether religious or civil society, there is a growing movement demanding political freedom and the formation of an independent electoral commission that would oversee this year’s general elections slated for October 2020.
The circular was published on the Vatican Radio website and distributed to parishes, said the Secretary General of TEC, Rev Fr Charles Kitima and addressed to all believers, priests, nuns and all well-wishers.
The bishops said, “…political governance should derive its power from the community and people who represent the state and the practice must fall within the limits of the law.”
The message contained in the circular, the bishops said, was made in reference to the second council meeting held in Vatican by all bishops across the world, which resolved on God’s Kingdom and how people should be governed. On October 11, 1962 to December 8, 1965, the church officiated the contribution of ideas on the political efforts to protect people’s rights through ensuring the rule of law in political governance.
The bishops say such resolutions have emphasized on the use of political power in shaping a human being with dignity, ethics, kindness to all others, for the sake of the entire humanity.
“There should be political systems that work for all the people without discrimination, those that enable people to participate freely in building a foundation of rule of law,’’ says the circular.
The bishops have reiterated a message issued by Pope Francis on January 1st 2019 during a global event to pray for peace around the world, when he insisted on using good political governance as a service of peace.
Explaining further, the bishops have said the aim of good political governance systems would be to ensure separation of powers so that various institutions involved in governance should have an equal playing field. They insist that all power is derived from God.