Rev. Sembereka tipped to become President Banda advisor

Malawi’s President Joyce Hilda Banda is reported to have targeted resolute civil and human rights activist Reverend Macdonald Sembereka as her special advisor on religious matters.

A source privy to the issue confided in Nyasa Times, the president is set to appoint Reverend Sembereka because she is impressed with his conduct.

“The president has expressed satisfaction with Reverend Sembereka’s integrity. She actually had a private audience him in Lilongwe last week,” the source said.

Sembereka: Tipped to be new religious aide for State House

The president is also reported to have settled for Rev Sembereka “because he is a true God fearing person.”

President Banda is a God fearing leader who spends most of her time praying and assisting people and is a devout member of the Church of Central Africa’s (CCAP) Women’s Guild.

Last week, Reverend Sembereka was seen offering a prayer during Madame Banda’s press conference held at her Area 12 residence in Lilongwe.

The President has already made a number of changes in her administration since she was sworn in as Head of State on April 7, 2011.  Among the major casualties include the Information Minister  Patricia Kaliati, Inspector General  of Police Peter Mukhito and Chief Executive Officer of the state owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Bright Malopa.

One of the fierce critics of late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration, Reverend Sembereka is the Executive Director of Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with HIV/AIDS (MANERELA) and also a acting National Coordinator of the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRC), a network of 91 local civil society and non-governmental organizations.

The reverend has been at the forefront of criticizing the late Mutharika’s government policies and also coordinating the country’s nationwide protests that began on July 20, 2011 when 20 people lost their lives.

In September last year, he was the target of an arson attack when his Balaka house was set on fire by petrol bomb following a similar attack at the office of another activist Rafiq Hajat’s Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) a week later.

Should the President appoint him, he will replace Reverend Billy Gama of CCAP’s Blantyre Synod whose period as late Mutharika’s advisor was characterised by scandals such as the sex abuse of three girls he was staying with in his house in Lilongwe.

According to leaked information, the man of God had been bedding the three young school girls one of whom is a daughter of his closest friend currently staying in South Africa.

The girl was left behind with the reverend because she was still in school at the time her family was relocating to South Africa.

The information leaked after the South African friend reportedly wrote late Mutharika complaining about his advisor’s conduct but the former head of state never acted. The friend also complained to Blantyre Synod who summoned their man and launched investigations.

Apart from the three teenage girls it also emerged that he has another mistress in Lilongwe and another in Maseru, Lesotho.

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