Minister of Information and Civic Education Brown Mpinganjira has fired a warning shot to the Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace (CCJP), saying church organs should avoid provoking the government.
This follows presented information to the country’s Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee by CCJP alleging that President Joyce Banda is part and parcel of the cash-gate.
Speaking to journalists in Lilongwe on Friday, consciously angry Mpinganjira said as individuals in government, they will not allow anyone to draw them into a battle with the organisation in particular and the Roman Catholic Church in general.
“We don’t want to be brought into any situation whereby we will be saying anything limiting the prophetic role of the church and we don’t want to believe that someone is trying to use CCJP as mercenaries of fighting government,” he said.
Mpinganjira added that as government, they definitely need the church in prayers.
Secretary CCJP in Lilongwe Archdiocese Peter Chinoko, told PAC on Thursday that the Catholic Church has information to the effect that the genesis of cash-gate was lack of enough financial resources to bankroll political campaign for the ruling People’s Party as the country goes to tripartite elections next year.
Chinoko alleged that President Banda complained of “being milked” in referenced to the fact that she was spending a lot of money alone on the party.
Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church in Malawi is locked up in a high level meeting to understand the motive behind its Lilongwe Office Secretary of the CCJP.
Officials’ privy to the meeting said the Catholic Bishops and the senior officials were shocked by Chinoko’s attendance at the PAC meeting.
“We are discussing that; we will make our position known. But certainly what he said is not part of Church’s position and his presence there is news to us,” said a close confidant to Nyasa Times also attending the meeting.
When Nyasa Times tried to contact the National Executive Director of CCJP Chris Chisoni and its Lilongwe District official Chinoko, their phones went unanswered.
Chinoko is not new in controversy, some time back he conducted an opinion poll gauging the popularity of the late President Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika which in less than 24 hours was disowned by the CCJP and the Catholic Church.
Insiders said he failed to submit to the meeting he was called to explain then, the template of questionnaires he was using, the software for data analysis and most importantly provide the raw data captured during the research period.
PAC has since requested Chinoko to make his submission on behalf of CCJP in writing.–(Additional reporting by Cecelia Mawaya, Nyasa Times).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :