Malawi Catholics petition Bishop Zuza to discipline ‘hot-blooded’ priest

Five substations that make up Mzambazi Catholic Parish at Euthini in Mzimba district have petitioned his Grace Bishop Joseph Zuza of the Mzuzu diocese asking for the immediate removal of Reverend Father Mark Mkandawire saying the cleric’s alleged sexual relationships is denting the Catholic Church.

The substations are; Heneric, St John Bosco, St James, St Maria Guret and St Benedicto. They have also written Father Mkandawire personally asking for his immediate departure, saying he has brought shame to the Parish.

“You came to the Parish like a good Shepherd but in actual sense you are not. We do not want to see you,” they wrote.

Nyasa Timescould not get an immediate comment from the Bishop.

Bishop Zuza: Asked to take action

Last month Father Mkandawire was allegedly caught red handed having sex with Ruth Chaula, wife of the DPP losing parliamentary candidate Owen Mkandawire in the October 9th 2012 bye elections held in Mzimba Central constituency.

The cleric however dismissed the allegations as not true, saying as a man-of-the cloth he could not do that.

According to a four paged letter dated 7th January 2013 to the head of the Mzuzu Diocese, a copy Nyasa Times sourced, the Catholics also accuse Father Mkandawire of sexually harassing many other women whenever he takes them for activities in the substations.

The Parishioners have also threatened that they will stop contributing offerings to the Parish if Bishop Zuza dilly dallies in removing Father Mkandawire.

“We feel the money we give the parish is the one that makes him (Matako akana pansi) to be mobile and engage in promiscuity,” reads part four paged letter dated 7th January 2013.

“We would like to ask you for the urgent removal, suspension or dismissal of Father Mkandawire for what he has done here and has been doing here at Mzambazi Parish especially to women.”

Father Mkandawire’s service as a Priest is never short of controversy when it comes to women. A few years ago as Director of Pastoral Centre in Nkhata Bay, Father Mkandawire is reported to have  eloped  to the USA with a nun called Elizabeth Nyirenda, whom she eventually married and borne children.

The Catholics also vented their anger at Bishop Zuza saying he is failing to act despite Owen Mkandawire seeing him in person and giving his side of the story including material objective evidence.

They feel “ignoring wrong-doing encourages more wrong-doing.”

Ironically, Owen Mkandawire is the Parish’s Finance Secretary hence Father Mkandawire had been a regular visitor to Owen’s house.

Mkandawire claims that there is a video recording of the Priest with his wife in uncompromising situation.

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