Catholic bishop blasts Malawi ‘cashgate’ leaders

Outgoing Blantyre archdiocese administrator Auxiliary Bishop Montfort Stima gave a powerful homily on Saturday at Limbe Catholic Cathedral dressing down some political and religious leaders as having no vision from God hence ending up enriching themselves and finding pleasure when people praise them.

Stima who is also bishop elect for Mangochi diocese gave the homily during the installation of bishop Thomas Msusa as archbishop for Blantyre archdiocese. Msusa was bishop of Zomba diocese.

“If our political leaders were chosen by God would the country be where it is? If some of the religious leaders were chosen by God would our people continue suffering and living without hope? True leaders come from God and leaders should serve and not seek rewards,” said Stima amid clapping and ululation from the congregation.

Bishop Montfort Sitma during the mass ceremony....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Bishop Montfort Sitma during the mass ceremony….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Added Stima: “You do not have to conduct daily campaign meetings for people to choose you. God chooses leaders.”

His statement was a direct attack to President Joyce Banda who has embarked on daily campaign in the name of visiting development projects.

Bishop Stima took a swipe at politicians saying as the country is gearing up for the May 20 elections, many will come out and campaign as if they want to serve people when in reality they are seeking personal gains.

“Many want to become leaders to be called honourable. Some are already called honourable but they have not yet been chosen and they are pompous. Will such people serve the people? We need to be leaders and not masters,” said Stima.

He challenged both political and religious leaders to have vision for the people and the country. He said even Jesus had a manifesto.

President  Banda concurred with Bishop Stima in her speech saying true leaders should serve the people and pay attention to their needs.

Presidential candidates availed themselves at the ceremony but Democratic Progressive Party candidate Peter Mutharika was missing. Those present were Malawi Congress Party presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera, United Democratic Front candidate Atupele Muluzi, Mary Singh of United Independence Party, George Nnesa current leader of the Tisinthe Alliance.

Leader of opposition in the National Assembly John Tembo was also in attendance and offered his gift.

The new archbishop called on the clergy and the laity in the archdiocese to be united for the sake of the Lord’s kingdom. Archbishop Msusa called on the clergy to live lives of servants and not masters.

“Our Pope lives a life pf service. He is there for the poor, oppressed, prisoners. That is the life of priests. Let us live that life,” he said.

During the ceremony, a letter of appointment of archbishop Msusa from Pope Francis was read out in three languages of Latin, English and Chichewa. Catholic bishops Tarcizio Ziyaye, Martin Mtumbuka, Allesandro Pagani, Peter Musikuwa, Joseph Zuza, emeritus Ste Marie graced the occasion.

Blantyre archdiocese has 74 priests and comprises Blantyre, Mwanza, Neno, Mulanje, Phalombe, Thyolo districts and has 40 parishes with one million Catholics.

MCP Presidental candidate wishing the new Bishop all the best....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

MCP Presidental candidate wishing the new Bishop all the best….Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Anita Kalinde leeds PP officials to wish the bishop well

Anita Kalinde leeds PP officials to wish the bishop well….Photo Jeromy Kadewere.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia Archbishop Julio Murat signing the endorsment signature to accept the new Archbishop....Photo Jeromy Kadewere.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Malawi and Zambia Archbishop Julio Murat signing the endorsment signature to accept the new Archbishop….Photo Jeromy Kadewere.

The President donating her gift to the new Archbishop...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

The President donating her gift to the new Archbishop…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

DPP's Patricia Kaliati in a jovial mood at the celebration mass

DPP’s Patricia Kaliati in a jovial mood at the celebration mass

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