President Peter Mutharika on Saturday acted as a physician for the country he is leading, describing it as a nation suffering from pneumapathology, a spirit disorder, due to its attitude toward authorities and fellow citizens.
Speaking at Zomba Catholic Secondary School ground during the consecration of the Very Reverend Father George Desmond Tambala as Bishop of Zomba Diocese, Mutharika said, although Malawi continues to yearn for transformation, its people resist change every way it comes.
“We are full of cynicism and we have no faith in ourselves as a nation. We want change, but we don’t want to change the way we think. We want to take a positive direction, yet [we] are blinded by negative attitudes. We want to see everything negatively.
“The spiritual health of a country determines the thinking, the attitudes, and the character of a nation. And our collective national character determines whether we develop or whether we regress into petty existence,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika bemoaned Malawians’ negative attitude, exemplified by the spreading of sensitive rumours and lies against authorities and fellow citizens.
He made specific mention of a case in which social media users were fed and believed a false story in which a banker in Bangwe Township was believed to have murdered his wife.
The President asked the Church to play a greater role in healing the nation from this kind of sickness which leads to hatred, lack of patriotism and integrity.
“But where is our national integrity? Where is our love for one another? This is a country in which someone can sit down and create a story that so and so has killed his wife, and spread the rumour on social media. I read this story about this young Blantyre banker in one of the papers. I feel sorry for this young man and the wife who was murdered by rumour.
“And because most of us don’t have the wisdom to question whatever we read on social media, worsened by our Malawian hunger for rumour, we have made Facebook and Whatsapp our Bible. But I will count on you the Church to teach us the old ways of believing in truth. You are the people to heal the national spirit because the Church is the guardian of morality,” said Mutharika.
In his remarks, Bishop Tambala said he was ready to lead the church towards a new way of thinking which will be fully based on serving the underprivileged and the poor in communities.
Tambala, who was appointed Bishop by Pope Francis in October 2015, was born in Zomba on November 18, 1968.
He has served the Catholic Church in various capacities since April 13, 1996 when he was ordained priest at Chiphaso Parish in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe.
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