Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) acting President Peter Mutharika on Sunday went to pray at Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) in Lilongwe in a bid to mend strained relationship his party has with the church.
During the DPP reign, the church which draws most of its faithful from central Malawi issued a critical pastoral letter read in Nkhoma Synod’s 150 congregations in the Central Region.
In the letter, the church condemned the Mutharika regime for clinging to policies which were hurting the citizens. It blamed Mutharika’s government for pursuing poor economic policies, political violence, tribalism, nepotism and poor international relationship.
But the DPP government through its then spokeswoman Patricia Kaliati blasted the church, saying the letter exposed a nepotistic, opportunistic and tribalistic side of the synod.
However, the DPP later exonerated itself from Kaliati’s outburst.
On Sunday, Peter Mutharika moved in to rebuild the relationship with the church when he went to pray there.
He however provoked tears when reminded the congregation that the day was late president Bingu Wa Mutharika’s birthday.
He also thanked members of Nkhoma Synod for their moral and material support when Bingu died in April last year.
“We still remember your music and moving sermons at the State House. The DPP and the Mutharika family do not take this for granted. May God Bless you for that,” he said.
As Mutharika spoke some members of the women’s guild could not hold their tears and this forced Nkhoma CCAP Salvation Singers to sing a song entitled ‘Thanthwe long’ambika’ which they said Bingu liked whenever he went to pray at Nkhoma.
Mutharika said he was aware of infrastructural development plans which the late Bingu had for the church and pledged his continued support.
The K10 million that was pledged by late Mutharika on fundraising event for the construction project of Nkhoma University campus was not given to the church.
The DPP leader also said he is following with keen interest the proposed establishment of a University by Nkhoma Synod and offered his support if need arises.
“I have worked in universities for over 40 years and am ready to share my advice and experience with you so that you may establish a vibrant University,” he said.
He then contributed K100, 000 to the church and also pledged to contribute another K500, 000.00 this week towards the construction of Moderator’s house.
Notable DPP officials at the church were Dr Jean Kalirani, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Hetherwick Ntaba, Otria Moyo Jere, Songazaudzu Sajeni, Msulira Banda and Shareck Jonas.
Taking his turn the Very Reverend Dr Killion Mgawi said the Church shall ever remember Bingu for the Kamphata-Nkhoma road and the Church building project.
Later, Mutharika consoled the family of late Mrs. Chisenga who passed away in the morning at Nkhoma Hospital.
The Nkhoma synod is one of the major protestant churches in Malawi that consists of 124 congregations and about 1300 prayer houses.
And speaking at Chamadenga trading centre where DPP supporters gathered to greet him, Mutharika advised them to strengthen the party from grassroots as the country prepares for the 2014 elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :