Catholic Bishop Emeritus Allan Changwera, the only living 1992 Catholic bishops pastoral letter author has warned leaders that they would not win any battle against the church.
In an interview with a local radio aired on Saturday, Changwera said former head of state Kamuzu Banda attempted to fight the Catholic church in 1992 following a pastoral letter the Catholic bishops issued.
“I am surprised that he was now engaged in battle with the church yet in 1987 he told a Catholic gathering in Zomba that no one wins any battle against the church,” he said.
Chamgwera did not say anything concerning President Peter Mutharika who a few weeks ago dressed down a Nigerian prophet TB Joshua for allegedly prophesying that Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and him would die before the end of their terms.
Chamgwera also bemoaned abuses of office and corruption prevailing in the country saying this is not the freedom the bishops fought and risked their lives for.
He said he was happy that he was part of the Catholic bishops team that brought change to Malawi from one party to multiparty through a stinging pastoral letter, the first of its kind in Malawi to take on the fierce dictator Kamuzu Banda who ruled the country with an iron fist for over 30 years.
“After the letter, the pressure on government was great so Kamuzu called for a referendum in 1993. We wrote another pastoral letter to guide Malawians on how they should vote and in 1994 we guided them on how to choose their leaders in multiparty democracy,” he said.
Changwera, however, said despite the freedoms that came after the multiparty democracy, ordinary poor Malawians continue to suffer as those in power continue to abuse their office. He did not elaborate.
Nonetheless, Changwera said high corruption is taking away resources from the government that was meant for ordinary poor Malawians.
“This is not the freedom we fought for,” said Chamgwera at his retirement home at Golgotha in Thondwe, Zomba.
He said he fears for the future of young Malawians who are facing huge challenges, saying there is need to bring up the youth in good morals if Malawi is to have a bright future.
Looking back to events in 1992 soon after issuing the first, stinging but just pastoral letter, Chamgwera said there was panic among the then ruling party, the Malawi Congress Party officials who asked the bishops to recall the pastoral letter from the Catholic faithful.
“We told them it was impossible to do so as people had already photo copied them and kept them secretly,” he said.
He said the government machinery tried to take back the pastoral letter from people but it was all in vain.
The bishop emeritus said the next day, the then Inspector General of Police Mac William Lunguzi- who was a devoted Catholic – called all the bishops at Kanjedza Police Training Camp in Blantyre but he never said anything except asking them if they wanted food and transport back to their bases.
He said the bishops forgave MCP’s Mai Hilda Manjakhosi who had said at a party convention Lilongwe that she would urinate into the bishops mouths if she met them.
“Probably she did not mean it, she wanted to impress upon her masters that she was more MCP than others,” he said.
He said Malawi should now strive to protect the freedom gains made in 1992.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :