JB advises Malawians: ‘Learn to appreciate what others are doing’

President Joyce Banda has said Malawians should desist from castigating each other and instead, learn to appreciate what others do in order to move the country to greater heights.

“We must transform ourselves, our lives. We must change our mindset and learn to appreciate what others are doing,” urged Banda on Saturday when she attended head of  Karonga Diocese,  Bishop Martin Mtumbuka’s silver jubilee celebration as a priest at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral site in Karonga district.

She added during the function–attended by Archbishops Tarcizius Ziyaye and Remi Ste Marie, Bishops Joseph Zuza and George Lungu of Mzuzu and Zambian Chipata diocese respectively among others–that Malawians should pray for the clergy.

“Bishops should [also] pray for us so that we don’t tire in our efforts to move this country forward,” she added.

President  Banda congratulates Bishop Martin Mtumbuka during his priestly ordination silver jubilee, Pic by McCarthy Mwawamba, Mana

President Banda congratulates Bishop Martin Mtumbuka during his priestly ordination silver jubilee, Pic by McCarthy Mwawamba, Mana

Banda told a mammoth crowd that graced the celebration that her number one enemy remains the alarming poverty levels in the country, urging Malawians to share what they have with others.

“I’ve declared war against poverty and I’m sure with your prayers we will be able to bring it to an end,” she said.

Speaking earlier Bishop Martin Mtumbuka;–chief shepherd of Karonga Diocese–, pledged his prayers “so that Presisdent  Banda continues making meaningful contributions to the nation.”

He spoke in favour of the economic reforms the Banda led government is implementing in the country.

“I’ve friends who are very competent economists and they have told me that you [Joyce Banda] didn’t have choices to make the reforms in our economy,” he said.

He was apparently referring to the kwacha devaluation–done in May last year, about a month after Banda became Malawi’s leader–which many human rights activists describe as a burden on most Malawians–who live on less than a dollar a day–as it has resulted in the inflation of prices for basic commodities.

Her political foe late president Bingu wa Mutharika–who died of cardiac arrest on April 5, 2012–had refused to devalue the kwacha arguing it would hurt ordinary Malawians.

“We would like to assure you and your technocrats of our prayers as you continue steering this country,” said Mtumbuka.

The bishop–former deputy vice chancellor of the Catholic University of Malawi–said “a leader is as good as his or her immediate collaborators” and urged Pres. Banda “not to be surrounded by people who simply want to enrich themselves.”

In his speech, Diocesan Laity Council Chairperson for Karonga Diocese Island John Mtambo asked the president and well-wishers for support in establishing the diocese.

He begged, on behalf of the congregation, that the power grid that found its way to the cathedral site because of the president’s coming “shouldn’t be moved away” but rather “remain there for good.”

Mtumbuka, the former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University who was instrumental in the establishment of the Catholic institution of higher learning, asked students in the country to be disciplined and to focus on their studies in order to succeed in their academic pursuits.

Bishop Mtumbuka also thanked his fellow clergy and the church’s faithful in general for their hard work and support they give him.

The Karonga Bishop who was ordained priest in 1988 has served in various capacities including as Rector of St Patricks Seminary, Chairman of the taskforce that established the Catholic University, Vice Chancellor of the University. He is an executive member of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Bishop Chairman for Seminaries as well as Bishop-Chairman of the Communication Commission and Bishop delegate for the Executive Board of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in East Africa (AMECEA).

Bishop Mtumbuka who holds a PhD obtained in 2003 from the University of London and was in 2010 promoted by the Catholic University to the rank of Associate Professor.

Born Martin Anwel Mtumbuka on 5th August 1957 he attended several primary schools in Rumphi, including Katizi, Mbuzinadi, Mhuju and Chilulu before going to St Patricks Minor Seminary, Kachebere Major Seminary and St Peters Senior Seminary.

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka renewing his priestly vows.- Photo by Pious Nyondo, Nyasa Times

Bishop Martin Mtumbuka renewing his priestly vows.- Photo by Pious Nyondo, Nyasa Times

President  Banda presents a gift to Bishop Martin Mtumbuka during his priestly ordination silver jubilee

President Banda presents a gift to Bishop Martin Mtumbuka during his priestly ordination silver jubilee

Bishop Zuza leading a mass during Bishop Martin Mtumbuka's priestly ordination silver jubilee, Pic by McCarthy Mwalwimba -MANA-

Bishop Zuza leading a mass during Bishop Martin Mtumbuka’s priestly ordination silver jubilee, Pic by McCarthy Mwalwimba -MANA-

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