Archbishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre Arch-Diocese has urged Catholics and Malawians to commemorate the 25 years of the issuance of the hard hitting pastoral letter which brought political change in Malawi by reflecting on whether it achieved its intended purpose.
Msusa said this at Ndata in Thyolo during the memorial service of former president Bingu wa Mutharika.
‘This coincidentally marks 25 years since the Catholic bishops issued the famous pastoral letter which brought political change in Malawi,” said Msusa as he led the memorial service.
Following the pastoral letter, Chakufwa Chihana came from exile on April 6, 1992 to lead a political battle in the fight against the oppressive Kamuzu Banda’s one party system of government.
His Grace Msusa , who is head of Episcopal Conference of Malawi, said the pastoral letter was the aspirations of all Malawians who wanted justice, not selective justice for the few powerful and rich peoople, workers who wanted good working conditions and pay, people who wanted drugs in hospitals, among other things.
The then ruling party the Malawi Congress Party clashed with the bishops and there were fears they would be killed as was the case with other critics of government.
Msusa said the emergence of Bingu wa Mutharika in 2004 as president of the country after being propelled to power by former president Bakili Muluzi rekindled hope of fulfilling what the bishops had wanted through their pastoral letter.
He said Bingu initiated a number of development projects and programs.
“President Bingu wa Mutharika loved his country. He took over the country when it was facing a lot of problems, when HIV and AIDS prevalence was at its peak but he did all he could to deal with the problems,” he said.
He said in addition, Mutharika put women in powerful and influential positions.
Mutharika died on April 5, 2012 when he collapsed after a heart attack when his political popularity continued to plummet at a fast rate as he became increasingly arrogant and dictatorship.
He clashed with the country’s donors, chased away a British diplomat and locked up opposition and civil society leaders and harassed journalists.
His critics say he amassed K98 billion through dubious corrupt means which he is said to have stashed in offshore investment accounts.
The government rejects these accusations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :