Zikhale blasts Catholic leader in Malawi

By Thom Chiumia, Nyasa Times

Malawi’s ruling DPP campaign chief, Dr Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, has slammed the head of Roman Catholic Church in Malawi, His Grace Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza, for his or his straight-talking English sermon during the National Day of Prayers on Tuesday

Zikhale, speaking on Capital Radio Straight Talk interview programme, accused Bishop Zuza of peddling the opposition agenda.

“That Zuza might not be a DPP person he might be an MCP agent, he might be PP agent. He might be an agent representing certain group and what do expect from such people,” said Zikhale.

Presenter Brian Banda asked Zikhale if he meant His Grace Zuza was an opposition element, he said: “Definitely he is.”

Bishop Zuza: not cowed into submission

“The way he spoke, he is representing the grouping. I know he is advocating certain ideologies certain grouping,” said the DPP campaign director who is also a close friend of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

“He is an agent of opposition 100 percent,” stressed Zikhale.

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.

He called on President Mutharika, his governing DPP, the opposition, the NGOs and everyone to avoiding pointing fingers at each other but to “examine their consciences” and “turn their weaknesses into strengths” so that Malawi continues to enjoy peace.

The Bishop also bluntly told the congregation that the Catholic clergy would not be cowed into submission but would always raise the voice of reason whenever authorities depart from their obligation to serve and not oppress the civilians as such was their prophetic responsibility.

But Zikhale said Bishop Zuza was not echoing the voice of the Catholic church, saying the government has the support of Catholics and its leadership is church-going Catholics.

“Honourable (Nicholous) Dausi is a Catholic member, the leadership itself is a Catholic, the President is a Catholic the wife to the president is also a Catholic,” pointed out Zikhale.

The Catholic Church married Mutharika to his wife Callista in 2009.

Zikhale stressed that Bishop Zuza is dabbling in politics and siding with opposition.

“He is representing a certain group that would want to promote certain ideology,” said Zikhale.

Bishop Zuza, who head Diocese of Mzuzu and is chairperson of Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), declined to comment.

The prayers, whose theme was “A Nation Seeking God’s Intervention in Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace,” were organized by the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), ECM and the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) as a “moment of reflection on the turn of events surrounding July 20, 2011 public demonstrations”.

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