Blantyre Diocese Archbishop Thomas Msusa , who is chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has refuted media reports has he rejected the First Lady Gertrude Mutharika’s donation through her Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust to assist rehabilitation works for the Providence Girls Secondary School hostel in Mulanje that went up in flames on 21 February this year.
Bishop Msusa was speaking to Radio Maria Malawi in a program called “The church and society” on Tuesday evening monitored by Nyasa Times.
He said the Catholic Church and Blantyre Archdiocese in particular appreciated the First Llady’s cement donation and other items which were given direct to 40 girls who were affected with the fire accident.
Head girl for the school, Vanessa Disoni, also commended the First Lady for showing interest and offering a helping hand.
“Let me put clear here on this radio that we did not reject the 4o bags of cement donated by the first lady, I only informed her of Germany donor which the church sourced and has already started the rehabilitation work, of which the First Lady was happy that some well wishers had already came to our rescue, 40 bags are with us and they will be used in other works at school besides this matter,”explained Msusa.
Contrary to what the media had reported on Monday the Bishop said the First Lady followed all the procedure and we were aware of her visit hence i was there to welcome her at the school.
“How could one say we were not informed of her coming when I personally welcomed and the school, mind you I stay in Blantyre I had to drive to Providence Secondary in Mulanje earlier to be the first to arrive at the place before her as per our tradition the host is suppose to arrive first to prepare and put the hose in order before the visitor comes,” said Bishop Msusa.
“Even in her speech the first lady alluded to that fact she was told that there is someone already helping on this cause, so media should not politicise her good gesture towards our problem”, he added.
But in her speech, the First Lady Madam Gertrude Mutharika said as Beam, one of its focus areas was construction of girls’ hostels and they were prepared to do so.
She said: “But since we have been told that some donors are already helping with that, we will still leave the cement here to be used for other purposes.”
During the visit, the First Lady was accompanied by Cabinet ministers Bright Msaka (Education, Science and Technology), Kondwani Nankhumwa (Local Government and Rural Development), Cecilia Chazama (Culture, Civic Education and Community Development) and Grace Chiumia (Home Affairs and Internal Security). Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general Grelzeder Jeffrey was also part of the delegation.
Beside her 40 bags of cement donation Madam Mutharika donated some basic items to 39 students who lost their personal effects during the February 21 2018 inferno that destroyed students’ property worth more than K100 million.
The items included 40 suitcases, 40 school bags, 40 mattresses, plastics cups and plates, soap, exercise books, mathematical instruments, bathing and facing towels, sanitary pads, 40 bunk beds and school uniforms to the affected and needy students, according to Malawi News Agency.
She said they were touched upon hearing that a hostel had been destroyed by fire.
Msaka commended the First Lady for her commitment to promoting girls’ education through construction of hostels, provision of sanitary amenities and teaching and learning materialsFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :