Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and renowned human rights activist Billy Mayaya have separately condemned Paramount Chief Lundu remarks against Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s church as “reckless and tantamount to criminal behaviour”.
Lundu, during a DPP rally in Nchalo on Saturday, ordered that Prophet Bushiri Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church should stop operation in Chikwawa because he claimed it is promoting Satanism and also because Prophet Bushiri has political ambitions.
However, DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila, in an interview with the local media, has distanced the party from Lundu’s remark arguing the DPP-led government is in good terms with any church in Malawi.
Kasaila said the country’s constitution provides for the freedom of worship and as a government they will do all what it takes to ensure that every Malawi exercises that freedom.
On his part Mayaya, Malawi’s renowned human rights activist, wondered where does Lundu gets the ball to bar the branch of ECG from operating a branch in his area.
“The Constitution of Malawi guarantees freedom of religion, movement and domicile. No chief has the power to act unilaterally and in a dictatorial manner over the operations of a church or any institution for the matter. Shame on this so called Paramount Chief,” he said.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive Timothy Mtambo has described Lundu’s remarks as barbaric.
He said such people need to be heavily censured by relevant authorities for they are a danger to Malawi’s democracy.
Meanwhile, gender activist Emma Kaliya has condemned Senior Chief Lundu’s remarks, saying he has gone too far and needs to respect the country’s Constitution.
Lundu is known for making controversial remarks in public rallies and is reportedly mostly to be tipsy.
Meanwhile, ECG communication director Ephraim Nyondo, in a statement released Monday and made available to Nyasa Times said as a church, they are very surprised with Chief Lundu’s remarks because “we have always viewed him as a sane leader who is well versed with the freedom of worship which is well provided in the Constitution of Malawi”.
“We, one, view Lundu’s disdaining accusations of our church as strong acts of character assassination. Secondly, threatening to ban our church, which is operating legally, is something every Malawian should be worried about because it shows we have certain individuals who think there above the Constitution,” he said.
Nyondo underlined that ECG will not tolerate such provocations and that Lundu should, quickly, return to his normalcy so that he appreciates the gravity of his remarks.
“We, therefore, want to make it clear to Lundu, and everybody who shares his thinking, that Malawi, including the area he operates, is a republic, not a kingdom,” he said.
He further emphasised that as long as Malawi remains a republic, not a kingdom, ECG churches will, legally, continue to operate anywhere in Malawi.
“We also call on Malawians of goodwill to speak out against any elements in the country that thinks they are above the laws of the country. We all have a duty to safeguard the democracy,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :