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Peter Mutharika for separation of State from religion

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By Jameson Chauluka:

President Peter Mutharika has called for separation of religion from State affairs if the country is to continue enjoying peace.

Mutharika was speaking during national prayers for good rains and disaster free 2018/19 season at Kamuzu Upper Stadium in Blantyre Sunday.

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Mutharika said countries where religious leaders interfere in State and political matters have landed in serious problems, saying religious leaders should stick to their mandate.

He warned churches in the country against sponsoring specific politicians.

“The church should refrain from sponsoring or funding some politicians. I know here it is not happening and that is good. There must be unity of purpose and mutual respect. Some years ago, a religious leader called a president chindere which means a fool but I am happy that those days are gone,” Mutharika said.

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He was referring to Bishop Joseph Zuza (deceased) who, in his sermon at a ceremony which took place at Comesa Hall in Blantyre on August 21 2011, seemed to attack the then Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika’s regime.

In front of Bingu, Zuza said “a person who believes that he or she is perfect is actually the most stupid and foolish person. In Chichewa and Chitumbuka, we call such a person chisilu or chindere chakufikapo. Do we want to be called chisilu or chindere?”

Mutharika Sunday then hailed the role of religious organisations in developing people’s lives in the country.

“If you are helping the government in serving the people, you are serving God. In Malawi, religious organisations are providing education, health services and helping the physically-challenged,” he said.

Baptist Convention of Malawi organised the prayers following Mutharika’s earlier call for Malawians to pray for rains and disaster-free season.

In a statement from the Office of the President and Cabinet signed by Chief Secretary to Government, Lloyd Muhara on October 24, Mutharika called upon Malawians to pray for rains in their respective mosques, churches and prayer houses, further ordering all Cabinet ministers and senior government officials to join congregations at their nearest places of worship.

A statement from Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, released on October 1 2018, says the country should expect normal-to-above- normal rainfall amounts over the north and most of northern parts of central Malawi and normal to below normal rainfall amounts over the south and most of southern parts of central Malawi.

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