The Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Thursday charged that Malawi is “on fire” because the country lacks visionary leadership and that this has affected all sections of society including the church.
Nkhoma Synod Moderator Bizwick Nkhoma was speaking at the Kamuzu Mausoleum in Lilongwe during prayers organised to commemorate the life of founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Nkhoma then challenged Tonse Alliance—led by Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM counterpart Saulos
Chilima who is also his running mate—to display visionary leadership if they get into power after the forthcoming presidential election.
“As a synod, we are very thankful to the leaders of various political parties for realising that Malawi needs to be saved from fire. They have come together and in unity there is strength and power. God wants us to be together because the problems we are facing are the same,” Nkhoma said.
He added that the church is there to speak for the poor and stand for the voiceless.
Describing Banda as a unique leader who wished the best for Malawi, Nkhoma said it was worrying that the government had decided to abandon Kamuzu Day celebrations and leave everything to the Kamuzu family.
He then urged Chakwera and Chilima to take back the responsibility of organising the Kamuzu Day celebrations if they go into power.
On his part, Chakwera said Banda was a forward-looking leader as he already designed plans for the development of the country.
He further said what Malawi needs at the moment is a leader who can carry on from where Banda left.
Chakwera also stressed that Malawians need to be united so that everyone can contribute their talents to the development of the country.
“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Dr Banda already laid the foundation for developing Malawi. All we need are honest leaders to implement the plans. State resources must be used to develop the people and not to oppress them. What we are practicing in Malawi at the moment is politics of oppression,” Chakwera said.
Speaking earlier, Chilima described Banda as a true champion of democracy in Malawi who accepted defeat in 1994 even before vote counting was completed.
According to Chilima, Malawians need to learn a lot from Banda’s decisiveness, saying when he came to Malawi in 1959, be made it very clear that he had come to destroy “the stupid federation”.
Speaking on behalf of the Kamuzu family, lawmaker Ken Kandodo said Banda sacrificed a lot for the betterment of Malawians, adding that he had to spend 13 months in jail to win the country’s freedom.
He added that Banda made a lot of contributions to the development of the country and encouraged unity among Malawians.
Kandodo said as one way of promoting unity, Banda built the Kamuzu Academy in Kasungu which was selecting four students per district to study at the institution.
Notable people who attended the event included Mama Cecilia Tamanda Kadzamira, who was Banda’s official hostess, Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara, Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo, leaders of various political parties in the Tonse Alliance as well as traditional leaders.
Conspicuously missing were government officials.
Government spokesperson, Mark Botomani, said government officials did not attend because they were not invited, adding that it considered the event as a family commemoration prayers.
The event was characterised by prayers, eulogies and laying of wreaths.