Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP and the government on Tuesday tussled and had a prolonged tug of war after the government single handedly removed vice president Saulos Chilima and leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera from the list of people to make eulogies at the funeral ceremony of Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe at Bolero in Rumphi.
Master of ceremony, an employee of State broadcaster in Mzuzu said President Peter Mutharika is too shocked to speak at the funeral and had delegated Minister of Local government Kondwani Nankhumwa to speak on his behalf.
After Nankhumwa’s speech, the Church moderator Reverend Levi Nyondo came to the microphone and told the people that the church had lined up Chilima and Chakwera to give their eulogies.
“Everyone must be given the chance to mourn our departed chief. The mourning is incomplete without the eulogies by Honourables Chilima and Chakwera because they represent another section of the society,” he said.
Added Nyondo: “This is a funeral and as CCAP Livingstonia (Synod) we do not want to go to hell after the end has come. As such, we are against denying other people an opportunity to give their eulogies.”
However, the government resisted, and before Nyondo could finish his remarks, one of the chiefs grabbed the microphone from the reverend, asking all to respect protocol that demands that nobody makes remarks after the President.
“Protocol demands that nobody speaks after the President has spoken and may I, therefore, ask that there be no more speeches from now and that we proceed to the sermon,” he said.
Acting paramount chief Mtima Gondwe, the grand son to the late chief, accused the government of deliberately sidelining the other speakers, the opposition politicians.
“You should accept that this is wrong. This should not happen again. Everyone must be allowed to mourn,” he said.
Earlier, church officials snatched the microphone from the master of ceremony when he only recognized the presence of Presudent Mutharika, government officials and party officials.
The church official recognized the presence of Chilima, Chakwera, Atupele Muluzi (UDF), Enoch Chihana (Aford president) and others.
In his sermon, the officiating clergy said: “Your Excellency, when your ministers are swearing for the office, they swear to abide to the law but after sometime, look at them.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :