Mutharika ‘buys’ 20 clerics to distabilize PAC

Beleaguered President Bingu wa Mutharika has  palm-oiled about 20 religious leaders to destroy  the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) because of its critical position to poor governance under the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Government through the Presidential Contact and Dialogue Committee convened a meeting for the clergy from December 29 to 30 2011 at Livingstonia Beach Hotel.

The clergy, who attended the Salima meeting,  came under heavy criticism and condemnation from delegates at the last week’s PAC two day indaba.

Clergy at the PAC conference; Time to reclaim our destiny

The delegates accused their fellow clergy of towing government line to kill PAC but delegates warned that those DPP operatives would not achieve their agenda.

From the three CCAP synods came five clerics: Reverends C. Baloyi, S. Kachipapa (Moderator Nkhoma synod), Davidson Chifungo,  Alex Maulana, Blantyre synod general secretary and Andrew Kamponda, deputy Blantyre synod moderator.

From the Episcopal Conference of Malawi there were Bishop Joseph Zuza and Bishop Montfort Sitima. From Malawi Council of Churches there was Rev. Osborne Joda Mbewe.

Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad and S. Omar came from Muslim Association of Malawi while Sheikh Saiti Jambo and Yahaya Mmadi came from Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi. From Evangelical Association of Malawi there were Reverends  Francis Mkandawire and Dr. Lazarus Chakwera while from Charismatic and Pentecostal Association of Malawi there were Bishop Matoga and Apostle Willie Chaponda.

From the Seventh Day Adventist of Malawi there was Pastor S. Kuyama, president of the Seventh Day Adventist of Malawi and those from the Anglican Council of Malawi were Fr. Kaulanda and bishop Brightone Malasa.

According to a press statement which was said to be ill-timed for publication as it was released on the days PAC was meeting, the clergy at the meeting formed a religious body to counteract PAC.

The statement reads, “At the end of the meeting, members agreed on the formation of a religious group comprising leaders of religious groups different from the Public Affairs Committee which would be an instrument for on-going dialogue with the Presidential Contact and Dialogue Group.

“The members pledged to support the government in making statements where there are conflicts between perceived universal values/ ideologies disguised as human rights vis-à-vis religious and country’s traditional values.”

 Law lecturer at Chancellor College Dr. Garton Kamchedzera demanded an explanation from the clergy who attended the Salima meeting if they were agents of government to kill PAC.

Some of the members who attended the Salima meeting and were also available in PAC meeting, for example, Rev Kamponda, bishop Sitima disowned some contents of the statement saying some words were included without their consent and in the absence.

PAC publicity secretary challenged government that PAC would never be dismantled no matter how hard government tried.

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