Malawi Muslims query Catholic bishops silence on albino killing in pastoral letter after Priest arrest

The Muslim Council of Malawi has questioned Catholic bishops in the country, under the umbrella of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), for not talking about increased violence against albinos in the country in contents of its recent Pastoral Letter.

Bishop Tambala: The Catholic Church has always strongly condemned the killings of persons with albinism

The 16-page Pastoral Letter titled: ‘A Call For A New Era In Malawi’,  read out in all Catholic churches Sunday—the fifth Sunday of Easter in the Catholic calendar— has catalogued  ills bedevilling the nation and  echoes the issues raised in the Ccivil society groups’  10-point demand petition like the dwindling public service delivery, nepotism, lack of transformational leadership and others.

The Pastoral letter advises the citizens to look for honesty, transformational leadership, selflessness, servant leadership, decisive leadership, respects of the law, willingness to step down, above tribal/regional/ political interests; and God fearing as the qualities the citizens should consider.

But  the Muslim community has accused Catholic Church for being mum albino attacks, apparently after  a church’s priest was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the abduction and brutal murder of Macdonald Masambuka, a young Moslem  with albinism from Machinga.

Father Thomas Muhosha of Mulombozi Parish in Zomba was arrested  and is being investigated by Police after he was mentioned as one of the people who took part in the brutal killing of Masambuka.

The body of 22 year-old Masambuka, who hailed from Nakawa village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkoola in Machinga was found on April 1 buried within the district after he was reported missing in March this year.

Police traced the body following confessions from initial suspects who had been arrested in connection to the crime.

“We feel that the Catholic Church could have included the missing and brutal murders of people with albinism. Just recently our Muslim brother late Masambuka was murdered and one of suspect is a Reverend Catholic Priest. The nation may wish to know that Machinga district has registered the highest number of killings of people with albinism. We are aware that if it was a politician of any political party, the Catholic Church would have advocated for impeachment even though not proven guilty in the court of law” reads the statement signed by National Chairman Sheikh Yasin Katungwe and Publicist Mulli Bwanali.

It adds: ” We feel the Catholic Church could have assured Malawians through this Pastoral letter measures they have put in place to protect people with albinism “.

But the Episcopal Conference of Malawi suspedned the priest  immediately after his arrest and also emphasized that the church condemns in its strongest terms any attacks on any human being.

Bishop George Tambala of the Zomba diocese distanced the church from Muhosha’s alleged conduct saying the church defends the sanctity of human life and the killings of persons with albinism is a violation to that sanctity.

“The Catholic Church has always strongly condemned the killings of persons with albinism,” said Bishop Tambala.

The bishops’ justice and peace commission has also condemned their killing, which is linked to the practice of witch doctors.

It said the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace  (CCJP) has commented several times on the matter.

Across Africa – from Malawi, Tanzania, and Burundi in the east, to Cameroon in the west – albinos are targeted because it is believed they have magical powers or bring good luck. They are killed, and their body parts sold to be used in potions made by witch doctors.

CCJP commented that Malawi needs a multi-faceted approach to the problem, involving police, government, religious, and traditional leaders.

The pastoral letter was not read in some parishes due to various reasons. At Matawale Parish in Zomba for instance, the priest said the letter would be read next week. At Neno Parish it was not read as the priest was not available.

At Nanthomba Parish in Dowa, the parish priest, Fr. Sebastian Unsner stopped the catechist after reading the first two chapters of the letter saying it would be continued the following week as there was more time to elections next year.

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Guest

The Catholic Church condemned and keeps condemning albino killings. The case of Muhosha is in the hands of the police and the courts. Hence, it is unwise to condemn Muhosha who is by now A SUSPECT and must be presumed innocent until proven guilty by an independent, impartial and competent court of law. Read Section 42 (2)(f)(iii) of Constitution of Malawi. The bishops’ comment on a case in police hands can JEOPARDIZE investigations. Let the police and the courts do their job without interference from any institutions. So the best Malawians an do is to reseve for a moment those… Read more »

Heavy-duty
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Heavy-duty

Shame on you Catholics, who were killing people in Rwanda just 20 years ago. Was it not the priests and nun’s. Zitsiru za wanthu inu. Worshipers of mafano. Demet.

Kunena Mosapsyatila
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Kunena Mosapsyatila

It’s very pathetic that the Muslim body would like to dragged into politics. I agree with what Mr. Winston Msowoya has said. If you can thoroughly look into the barbaric acts that Moslems have committed in form of suicide bombers and others via the doctrine of jihad; they have terrorised the world over. This is utter ignorance and evil of the highest degree orchestrated by the father of all lies “the Devil.” Our Lord Jesus Christ already prophesied about this and I quote from the Epistle of John. John 16 vs 2-4 (NIV) “They will put you out of the… Read more »

Daniel
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Daniel

Killers in Syria are Americans who are supporting Jihadists.

Mtolankhani
Guest
Mtolankhani

Very important observation by the Muslim body. The Catholics should be ashamed of this oversight. Albino killings are one of the issues rocking malawi right now and the pastoral letter should have addressed the issue. But why didn’t it though? 1. Obviously because one of their own bishops is caught up in the allegations 2 because the recent killing and most of the killings occur in Muslim majority areas and this might never have registered as an issue for the Catholics The Catholic body if it claims to be tolerant, inclusive, and a voice for all should publicly acknowledge this… Read more »

Hamissie
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Hamissie

Not Malawi Muslims, this reverend is a human being just as any other, so his involvement in the killing of Albino has nothing to do with Catholic. I am a Muslim but will not blame catholics for this. These are just individuals not church or religion.

Kaisala
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Kaisala

You Moslems the sons of ismael have killed alot of innocent people thru slave trade but never apologised. Ask jumbe and mlozi. What stops you from writing sound letters? You know you don’t have the hype like the Catholic have because you are evil yourselves. Terrorists, who always think of vengeance. Anthu opanda mizimu. You don’t even read. The church condemned this long ago. Shatapu don’t ever make any noise. It pains you alot coz you are in minority.

Chilungamo
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Chilungamo

One cannot rule out a Moslem-DPP political underhand and blackmail in the whole saga. Remember, there are well- known thugs and cunning individuals in both DPP and Moslem community. This could be a set-up, well- calculated ploy by some dpp-moslem thugs to retaliate, undermine and redicule the Pastoral Letter in order to dilute its political impact? A number issues raise eye blows in the Muhosha scandal: it occurred in a Moslem hot-spot district? a Moslem albino murdered? suspects allege it’s a Catholic priest behind the killings? Moslem clerks initially silent wait till pastoral letter is read out to issue their… Read more »

Heavy-duty
Guest
Heavy-duty

Ine si msilamu koma ndikudabwa kuti ena mukuona ngati ma shehe alakwitsa kufunsa kuti bwanji kalata yonse ija 16 pages osatchulako za ma Albion amene iwowa a Katolika akupha? Shame on you. Tonse tadziwa kuti akupha ma Albion ndi inuyo a Katolika? After all Munthu adaphedwa uja ndi msilamu nde asafunse? Bwanji mukuona zitsotso mmaso mwa ena koma mukukanika kuona dzimitengo mmaso mwanu inu ma bishop ndi a nsembe? Kodi ku Rwanda mmesa mudali inuyo a Katolika amene mmapha anthu ndipo mumachitira zonyansazi mmachalitchi anuwa? Adapha William Tyndale ndi ndani? Nanga Galileo Galilei adamumanga anali ndani? Mmesa ndinuyo? Chitani Google… Read more »

timve ziti
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timve ziti

Are these moslems living in Malawi? Have you not heard or read the condemnations by the church. ? Come on! You are just looking for excuses to incite your well known religious violence
Pepani Christians will not fall into your trap.

Jame
Guest
Jame

Tell me a moslem cleric who ever did or said anything intelligent in Malawi and/or globally. Until then , palibe chodabwitsa apa chochokera kwa msilamu!

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