Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa of the Archdiocese of Blantyre on Saturday told politicians to stop violence, saying what happened in Mangochi a week ago, where vehicles of a political grouping were burnt was a shame.
Msusa, speaking in presence of Vice-President Saulos Chilima and Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi at Limbe Cathedral in Blantyre on Saturday, during a celebration marking the feast of Mary Queen of All hearts, the patron Saint of the Archdiocese, encouraged Malawians to form political parties if they wished and go anywhere in Malawi.
Popularly known as Archdiocese Day, the Catholics in the Archdiocese celebrated the day together with silver jubilee anniversary of priesthood of Monsignor Boniface Tamani and Catholic University (CU) vice-chancellor Reverend Father George Buleya.
On the eve of Chilima’s political rally in Mangochi last Saturday, vehicles belonging to his United Transformation Movement (UTM were burnt and fingers pointed at the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its bedfellows, United Democratic Party (UDF), but both parties denied responsibility.
Archbishop Msusa said the nation accepted multiparty politics in 1993 and there is no reason for any political grouping to draw lines in particular areas as ‘no-go zones’ for other political parties.
“Political violence is bad. It taints not only the reputation of a country, but also of Mangochi district, in this case. Mangochi is a beautiful lakeshore district which attracts tourists from outside Malawi, some [who targeted Mangochi] may have cancelled their vacations to Malawi,” the archbishop said.
He advised politicians in the country to co-exist, tolerate each other and allow everyone to hold their rallies anywhere they want.
In his speech at the event, Chilima only encouraged Malawians to go and register to vote in the 2019 elections.
Besides, he commended Frs Tamani and Buleya and encouraged them to work even harder in serving God.
During the celebrations, the two priests received various gifts from well-wishers, who included President Peter Mutharika, who sent Dausi to give either of them an upright fridge and an undisclosed amount of money. Chilima also gave the two priests an undisclosed amount of money.