JB asks for prayers not to be ‘the usual President’

Malawi President Joyce Banda has asked the religious community in Malawi to offer special prayers for her so that she does not become the usual leaders who get drunk with power .

Banda made the plea during an Interdenominational memorial prayer service for the 20th July 2011 victims held under the them: ”Time for healing and Reconciliation”  at the Mzuzu stadium on Friday.

“Pray for me so that I cannot get to the point where people start asking such questions about me,” the President said.

The President then asked Civil Society groups in Malawi to advise him constantly so that she does not get off track.

President Mrs Joyce Banda

“I come from civil society background myself. So if I goof it means the civil society has been advising me wrongly and they should feel the humiliation themselves,” the President  said.

Not for granted

Earlier as if responding to the President’s plea CCAP Synod of Livingstonia General Secretary Reverend Levi Nyondo said the religious community were “Nga  nga  nga” in support of her government but cautioned that the support should not be taken for granted.

“Malawians should learn to tell the truth all the time even religious leaders. Because what we saw during the DPP regime is that some religious leaders were not praying honestly. If we tell the truth the country will develop,” Reverend Nyondo said.

Reverend Nyondo then hailed the government for a good start but again cautioned the President about some people she has included in her all inclusive government  and the People’s Party saying some had ill motives.

He did not mention names but said “we know them and we eat with them. They need to be put on probation so that they should be monitored to see whether they have transformed or not”

Reverend Nyondo, like Voice Mhone, who spoke on behalf of Civil Society Organizations and Aubrey Nkosi for the bereaved family, asked government to build a memorial pillar for the 20th July 2011 victims as a sign of respect “to our heroes”

These people also asked government for compensation, tuition fees for dependents of the deceased, that 20th July be a public holiday and funds for widows to engage in Income generating activities among others.

But Banda brushing media reports that questioned her incessant quest for consultations on most things, said again she will have to consult because “she is not a ruler but a leader”
Mhone also asked the PP led government to expedite some of the issues that were
raised in the 20 point petition that was delivered to the former DPP government.

President Banda in response to Mhone’s concerns said Malawians should thank God for what her government has achieved in 105 days.

“At least we have fuel, some forex, sugar at less than MK700 per kilogram and we have rebuilt relations with the donors and the international community. Time will be our best judge,” she said.

Accept responsibility

And Roman Catholic Priest Father Eugene Ng’oma noted that Malawi will not start on the healing process and forge ahead in development if Malawians do not learn to say am sorry and accept full responsibility for their actions.

In his sermon drawn from 1st Samuel 26 verse 7, Father Ng’oma said although what happened on 20th July is still painful that should not block Malawians from developing and mending relationships.

“We cannot say because the police shot us then we have nothing to deal with them. To forgive is not avoidance. The process of healing starts with forgiveness and that is what is lacking in Malawi. Forgiveness is a miracle that starts a new beginning even with the ones who wronged us because we trust they can be useful one day in building Malawi,” he said.

Father Ng’oma said Malawi will never be what we want it to be if we do not start the healing process.

During the event, family members and civil society leaders also asked President Banda to consider compensating dependants of the victims and consider making July 20 a national holiday.

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