President Bingu wa Mutharika on Thursday went to town slamming head of Roman Catholic Church in Malawi, His Grace Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza for his straight-talking sermon during the National Day of Prayers last week.
In the presence of President Mutharika and his wife, Callista, Bishop Zuza admonished those who have “more authority” for threatening the civil society organizations, the faith community and the media in the face of the deteriorating social, economic, governance and political situation in Malawi.
The bishop who heads Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) and Mzuzu Diocese did not personalise his sermon which was widely welcomed by Malawians.
But Mutharika a turn-coat Catholic took an offence in the homily and hit back.
“A couple of days ago I was in that building (Comesa Hall) over there. Somebody in there, complete with a clerical collar on his shirt front, there he was saying Bingu you’re the most stupid person Ndiwe Chindere ndiwenso chitsiru. With insults like these, would he have walked out of that building in the past?,” said Mutharika.
“I want you to realize that I tolerate a lot; but some are mistaking this tolerance for stupidity. Please, that is wrong. When I stand up to fight back, you will see,” he said.
He was speaking at the Chichiri International Trade Fair Grounds in the commercial city, Blantyre on Thursday when he officially opened this year’s 8th Agricultural Trade Fair.
Mutharika, who is under fire over chronic fuel and foreign exchange shortages and is also accused of infringing democratic freedoms, warned that he will arrest and deal with his critics.
“I can arrest you! Let this country go on fire if you want to….. I want to tell you enough is enough! I can’t stomach this insolence anymore,” charged war-mongering Mutharika.
Last week, Mutharika’s close aide Ken Zikhale Ng’oma went on radio to attack Bishop Zuza accusing him as an agent of the opposition for being critical of the leadership of Mutharika.
DPP and presidential spokesman Hetherwick Ntaba said the remarks by Zikhale were not representing the position of the party and the President.
But Mutharika’s tantrums on Thursday vindicated Zikhale that he was taking a party and presidential position attacking the Bishop.
In his homily, Bishop Zuza said as quoted verbatim: “The person who thinks and believes that he or she is perfect is actually the most stupid and foolish person. In Chichewa and Tumbuka we call such people as chitsiru cha munthu or chindere.”
“Do we want to be called chitsiru or chindere because we think we are perfect and we have all the best solutions for the storm that is passing through our country? Fellow Malawians, let us not become stupid people. Let us accept our roles and see how best as a nation we can calm the storm that is before us.”
The prayers were organised by Episcopal Conference of Malawi and Malawi Council of Churches to seek God’s intervention on problems facing the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :