Malawi Catholic Church Christians from Mzuzu Diocese and other faithfuls converged at Mzuzu Central Hospital mortuary on Sunday to pay their last respect to Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza, who died in car crash on Thursday at the age of 59.
At exactly 1:05pm Bishop Mathews Mtumbuka led mourners in prayers before the body was taken to St Peters Cathedral with a spontaneous outpouring of affection for the courageous Bishop.
“”The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd. Malawi has lost a champion of human freedom,” Bishop Mtumbuka said.
The body of the late Bishop Zuza is expected to be laid to rest Monday, according to the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi, Archbishop Julio Murat, has confirmed that he will attend the burial. The Nuncio is based in Lusaka, Zambia.
Bishop Zuza will be buried at Katoto Catholic Cemetery in Mzuzu Diocese after a requiem Mass.
He was born in 1955 in Malembo, and in 1982 was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Mzuzu.
In 1995 St. John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese.
Apart from being Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese, Bishop Zuza was head of Catholic church in the country by virtue of being chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :