A memorial to celebrate the life of Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza – the first black bishop of the Diocese of Mzuzu who died in a car accident January 15, 2015 – will be held Friday, and Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga will celebrate mass at St. Mary’s Parish in the lakeshore district in his memory.
Mtumbuka’s Secretary Fr. Joseph Sikwese said the Diocese of Karonga decided to join the rest of the world in celebrating Zuza’s first anniversary since his “sudden” death because “he touched a lot of lives.”
Said Sikwese: “Most of us were ordained priests by him. Most of us received sacraments – especially the sacrament of confirmation through him. It is, therefore, important that we sit back and remember him in a special way.”
According to Sikwese, the Diocese’s official radio Tuntufye FM will be featuring programmes on the life of Bishop Zuza, his homilies and speeches.
“Two Christians per parish will also be interviewed by the radio to talk about their memories of Bishop Zuza, and how he touched their lives,” said Sikwese.
Nyasa Times understands that Bishop Mtumbuka has issued a statement which, among others, calls for all priests, seminarians, sisters, employees and Christians of the Diocese to attend.
Zuza will be remembered as a “selfless, humble and fearless man” who stood, and spoke out the truth regardless of any interference.
The late Bishop Zuza used to speak justice and upliftment of the marginalized, slamming the roots of the socio-economic problems of Malawi.
Many in Malawi have reminisced on how Zuza rebuked former Malawi President late Bingu wa Mutharika for his autocratic leadership. At the time, it was not a popular thing to do.
Bishop Zuza advised the late Mutharika to stop gagging civil society, the media and the faith community, saying they had a role to play in safeguarding democracy and the rule of law.
“They tell us (clergy) not to interfere with politics; we are seen as intruders. They say that civil society organisations were not elected; yes they were indeed not elected but they are working for the good of the nation,” said Zuza
He then went on to tell the President that he should not think he was a perfect leader —Chindere Chakufikapo.
Bishop Zuza was also the promoter of culture and traditions, the African prelate had expressed concerns over Western influence affecting African culture particularly on the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
Before his death, Zuza served in a number of positions in the Catholic Church and died holding the office of chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :