The Catholic Diocese of Karonga on Tuesday—January 15—held a church service in memory of fallen Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza of the Diocese of Mzuzu who died in a car crash near Nthungwa in Chikangawa Forest three years ago.
The clergy described late Zuza as a “down to earth servant of God.” The faithful on the northern tip of the country still fondly remembered the bishop who openly warned former president Bingu wa Mutharika against arrogance, saying any person who thinks is always perfect is wrong and “chindere chakufikapo”.
Zuza died on January 15 2015 in a car crash aged 59. He was driving from his home in Muhlafuta Village on the south-western part of Mzimba when his Toyota Hilux front tyre burst and the vehicle overturned several times.
Rescuers found him lying in agony by the roadside and they rushed him to Mzuzu where he died at St John’s Hospital after receiving emergency treatment at Mzuzu Central Hospital.
In his homily during the service, the Diocese’s vicar general Monsignor Denis Chitete, who represented Bishop Martin Mtumbuka presently in a month-long spritual retreat, asked the faithful to learn from Bishop Zuza’s good deeds when he lived.
“He might have had his shortfalls; but it is imperative for all of us to learn from his good works,” said Chitete.
Quoting scripture from Mathew 25:1-13, Chitete asked the faithful to be always prepared for the Kingdom of God.
“We do not when. It could be now, tomorrow or next year. So, we must be prepared at all times,” he said.
The Dioece of Karonga has set aside January 15 every year to celebrate Bishop Zuza’s life as decreed by Bishop Mtumbuka.
Bishop Zuza was born in 1955 in Malembo, and in 1982 was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Mzuzu. St. John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Mzuzu in 1995.
In addition to having been Bishop of Mzuzu, in Malawi’s north, Bishop Zuza had been president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malawi since 2011.
Steering the Malawi bishops’ conference, Bishop Zuza spoke out for justice and upliftment of the marginalized, slamming the roots of the socio-economic problems of Malawi, which had attracted criticism from political corners.
Bishop Zuza participated in the extraordinary Synod on Family that concluded last October, where he spoke up for Catholic teaching on family sought to uphold the sanctity of the Sacrament of marriage.
A promoter of culture and traditions, the African prelate had expressed concerns over Western influence affecting African culture, particularly on the issues of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
During the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mzuzu diocese, Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, then Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi, lauded Bishop Zuza’s pastoral initiatives for the faithful, saying that “during these years of visiting Mzuzu, the diocese has been very well managed and very well organized.”
The Prefecture Apostolic of Northern Malawi was erected in 1947, and was elevated to the status of the Diocese of Mzuzu in 1961.
It currently holds a Catholic population of over 400 000.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :