Straight-talking and courageous Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza has been described as a down-to-earth servant of God who lived for others, and always stood for the truth.
During a fifth anniversary mass held at St Peter’s Cathedral in Mzuzu following his death on January 15, 2015, Mzuzu Diocese leader, Bishop John Ryan, said Bishop Zuza would always be missed and cherished.
“He was God’s instrument, and we thank God for the gift of Bishop Zuza. And, as far as our Catholic theology is concerned, he is still directing this diocese. He is still directing the church in Malawi. He is praying for us,” said Bishop Ryan.
According to Ryan, it was during the time of Bishop Zuza that the faithful themselves began taking care of their priests.
“Before that priests, sisters and brothers used to get all their support from the Bishop’s office. That included food, utility bills and rentals. But when Bishop Zuza came in that changed. The Christians themselves through his leadership started realizing that it was their responsibility to take care of their priests. And that has lived on until today. It is a living legacy of Bishop Zuza,” he said.
During the mass also attended by chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa and Karonga Diocese’s Bishop Martin Mtumbuka, Ryan also emphasized on the need for being truthful in the country.
“The spirit of seeing it as it is paramount, especially now that we have the constitutional court case. The spirit of truth is what Bishop Zuza lived for. If well achieved, the spirit of truth can permeate other national institutions,” said Ryan.
Many Catholic faithfuls said Zuza was naturally quiet and down-to-earth except when faced with the excesses of wrongdoing.
This demystifies the religious leader famed for his August 21 2011 sermon at Comesa Hall, Blantyre, where he candidly confronted the then president Bingu wa Mutharika and his deepening dictatorial tendencies.
Preaching in the face of the fallen leader often remembered for fits of anger and arrogance, Zuza stated: “A person who believes that he or she is perfect is actually the most stupid and foolish person. In Chichewa and Chitumbuka, we call such a person as chisilu or chindere chakufikapo. Do we want to be called as chisilu or chindere?”
Returning to the venue three days later, Bingu warned the man-of-collar would not have come out alive if he had termed the president’s predecessors “the most stupid”.
Born on October 2, 1955, Bishop Zuza was born Mzimba and was ordained priest in 1982. He was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Mzuzu in 1995.
He died at St John of God Mission Hospital in Mzuzu following a car accident at around Nthungwa area in Mzimba on his way back from his home village where he had gone for a vacation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :