No leader wins by fighting the church, says Catholic Bishop: Surviving author of Malawi historic pastoral letter

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.

Bishop-emeritus Allan Changwera was also present to pay his last respects

Bishop-emeritus Allan Changwera was also present to pay his last respects

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.

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27 thoughts on “No leader wins by fighting the church, says Catholic Bishop: Surviving author of Malawi historic pastoral letter”

  1. Chambe says:

    Iwe no 12 wa Chamba ndi iwe. Watchula product yomwe umaiziwa.Chambe is different form Chamba. Just google or bing or duck duck go for Chambe. It seems you are the one disconnected from the geography of Malawi.

  2. janet Phiri says:

    you don’t know what you’re saying.think of arvs then you will know that the mutharikas and DPP Government did well. had it been that dpp sinayambitse ma arv bwenzi mtundu wa a malawi uli kuti lero . think twice before you speak

  3. WING BANDA says:

    dont relate cathoric with victory

  4. Kaka says:

    Muwawuze a oposition mawu amenewa. Dpp won thru a ballot and thru fighting. Abusa awawuze a kamlepo ndi chakwera

  5. Akungolonje says:

    #3 tell the nation how many muslims are there involved in the cashgate scandal? You must be foolish and stupid, just talk about Bakili and not Islam, muli ndi chitetezo chanji inu, mungolisiya dziko likukoma mukapitiliza kuphatikiza zolemba nanuzo ndi chiSlam wawa. Ndakutsinani nkhutu mwina mwamvetsa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. mary says:

    Hilda, please do urinate in these foolish faithheads mouths,

    they are hypocrites! The talk a lot of nonsense about their fellow malawians, YET they failed to write a pastoral letter to ROME when a man who protected pedophile priests was elected POPE (pope benedict!). You Roman catholics, you should BE ASHAMED of yourselves, the blood of innocent boys who your pastors raped and sodomised are in YOUR FILTHY HANDS!
    Religious idiots together with your sex starved bishops and fathers

  7. Ndanena says:

    All these are false prophets – satanic worshipers are now in majority in Christian churches so the idea that no-one can fight with a man of God is just rubbish. That is why we can’t develop because we have entrenched dictatorship and shallow thinking. The west is far developed and yet it has challenged the dogmatic thinking of churches and religion over the years. Africa and Malawi are the only ones clinging to all the bigotry and backwardness that is associated with religion. Let Christian churches in Malawi shut up! I feel ashamed as a Christian to see all these evil around us paraded as miracles, pastors stealing from people and doing evil business and a whole bishop says that is OK. Pastors obsessed with fame, money and glory; preoccupied with prophesying the death of people and you say they are men of GOD. Nonsense!

  8. pondani says:

    Iwe owen khamula write of this story, TB Joshua sanatchule dzina la aliyense anangoti southern africa. Ngati iweyo u have these names mu mtima mwanu tell all kuti mukuganiza kuti ndi this one and that one. Dont mislead the people pliz.

  9. nyauhango says:


  10. A.LEMANI says:


  11. Winston Msowoya says:

    To be fair enough,Bakili Muluzi did good job better than H.Banda,J.Banda,Bingu and Peter.Firstly,he scrapped the beast incarnate quota system,the first President to appoint Chakufwa Chihana as second Vice President in the history of our nation,he built the first University in the North and appointed several senior cabinet Minsters from the North soon after multiparty democracy in the country.In his first term,he tried to make bridges with the North which was pathetically,ignored and marginalized by Banda’s repulsive regime hence,the creation of today’s ethnic divisions and hatrade ,the scourge of Africa.In the second term,I gree that he plunged the nation into a pool of massive corruption which grew treacherous tentacles and finally inherited by his successors to the destruction of Malawi’s repution and progressive economic trend.BRAVO MULUZI!!!

    1. Musombwe says:

      Hey mtumbuka ur stupid u want the whole cabinet to cme from ur bushy area is that wat u want? Idiot selfish moron.

  12. Strong words from strong man

  13. Denguzman says:

    Inetu panopa ndikugugwilizana ndi mau omwe analankhula a Kamlepo Kalua mu 1993 oti fisi ndi fisi basi or atasintha nkhalango iyi nkupita yina koma akakhabe fisi. Tiyeni Amalawi mtundu wa the Muthalikaz. Tikamaona zimene zikuchitika pakali pano palikusiyana ndizomwe ankapanga malemu Bingu? Fisi ndi fisi basi, the only unfortunate thing is that his adviser on religious issues is not assisting him spiritually.

  14. Becks says:

    Kodi Achamba mukuti chiani? Sizikumveka munena inozo ayi. Mukukhala ngati simuli M’Malawi muno. How can you say, ” No leader after Kamuzu has ever attempted to fight the church?” So you don’t even see what Peter is doing?

  15. If Kamuzu was defeated by the Catholic Bishops, Then who is Pitala Mathanyula?

  16. Gm says:

    Thats True No One Can Win Abatle Against God

  17. Arab Spring says:

    Mathanyula a kuti alibe pulobulemu, he needs to find Jesus!

  18. Tengupenya says:

    What Mai Hilida stated was graphically pornography and blasphemy: how would she urinate into the mouths of the Bishops? just think of it.

  19. Athini says:

    Enawa kulibe ndiye lero kumayima pa chulu nkumati fwe fwe fwe!!

  20. Chitsiru chiri ndi mwini says:

    My honourable man of God I sincerely thank you for not beating about the bush. These people they don’t even realise that they were created in God’s own image, Kamuzu’s example is a very good example, after fighting with men of God he did not prosper thereafter in his life, so too with Peter’s own biological brother Bingu what happened after fighting with the same TB Joshua Peter is fighting with today ? Yankho mulinalo a Malawi ndiye Peter ndi ndani oti azilimbana ndi anthu a Mulungu take care!!!! Next time my man of God just hit directly the nail on its head Ambuye akuonjezeleni masiku okhalira mdziko la pansi a Bishop. Mind you ine si wa Catholic koma okhudzidwa ndi zibwana za anthu amene akusewera ndi anthu a Mulungu.

  21. Chambe says:

    Indeed no leader after Kamuzu has ever attempted to fight the church. Whilst the first Pastoral Letter was written with courage and the only means of rebuking the government as the Clergy could not directly visit Sanjika Palace to do so, those written after in the new dispensation have not carried that much weight as the first one. This is because people have freedom of speech and can now criticize the government. There are many pieces of writings from different fraternity of the media advising the government. So Pastoral letters do not bring anything new other than the message already on the public domain. The Church therefore needs to engage the government more in a win win intention to achieve common good for the country. The church also should assist to induce the spirit of self dependency and encourage family planning( though family planing is not supported by the Catholics) to their congregation.

  22. cbk says:

    Enawa akuti alibe poloblemu akuziwa zimenezi?Zoti tinavotela nyali akuziwa?A kongelesi akutiimba nyimbo kuti”oyasa nyali masana timayesa ndi misala!!”Ndiye kumati fwefwe APA!

  23. Mabishopu enieni says:

    I wished the present Bishop Leadership was brave like you Holy Bishop ,the present Bishops are busy winning and dinning with the most dictatetorial leaders . There is not even a single Bishop who can write a strong pastor letter like the one which you wrote and you changed the political system in Malawi.
    Muluzi being an ex convict and a Musilm was the one who messed Malawi by stealing a lot of many in the government . He brought corruption and tribalism in Malawi , not even wanting any president to lead Malawi to come from Nothern or Southern Malawi.

  24. Central says:

    Wamva Kasaila?

  25. Tungwi says:

    Tell them.

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