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Reverend Makondetsa told APM what he wanted to hear

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Gallant freedom fighter and human rights defender, Reverend John Chilembwe, might be turning in his grave to see General Overseer of his Providence Industrial Mission (PIM), Reverend Patrick Makondetsa, deliberately delivering a message that endears him to the establishment instead of speaking for the poor as per the foundations of the PIM Church.

Makondetsa condemned Malawians who contribute to national discourse for what he called negative reporting and threatened critics of President Peter Mutharika that they are a curse to the nation.

As expected, his public speaking skills, disguised as a sermon, pleased Mutharika and his officials who were seen nodding their heads and clapping hands as the message gave them the most needed comfort as the administration hits record low in public opinion rating.

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But to be fair to Makondetsa, he struck the chord as per his plan. He should just be dusting his dog-eared old bibles ready to be appointed next presidential adviser on religious affairs.

However, Makondetsa was clearly off-tangent as far as the PIM beliefs are concerned. Chilembwe always fought for the good of the ordinary person. His letter to the King of England still remains poignant: “Will there be any good prospects for the natives (ordinary men from Nyasaland) after this war (for the European empires)?”

Such was Chilembwe’s bravery that he resolved to strike one heavy blow to the system before it killed him.

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Perhaps Makondetsa and his likes need a reminder of their original commission and what their purported master, God the sovereign ruler of the universe, expects from them.

In Isaiah 56:10-11, God is heart-broken by the likes of Makondetsa who he likens to blind watchmen and dumb guard dogs who cannot bark. God is aggrieved that Makondetsa and his accomplices are like greedy dogs that cannot have enough crumbs off the high tables. He is concerned that such clergy always look for personal gains at the expense of the poor, oppressed Malawians.

And this is the reason why atheists such as George Thindwa and Mahalia Mambulasa will have nothing to do with religion as they view it as the opium of the exploited poor. And Paul sums it all in his epistle to the Romans (2:24) that “…for the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles through (because of leaders like) you”.

But Makondetsa should know that even if he rolls on the ground and foams on his mouth to shut up the voice of reason from Malawians, God will still hear their cries from His seat. This is the God who heard the cry from the blood of Abel after Cain had done all it took to cover up the murder.

This is the same God who stood up with genuine major prophets such as Elijah, Isaiah and Micaiah when their kings demanded to be told what they wanted to hear.

Makondetsa should know and understand that Malawi is not cursed because of a few brave people who speak up against abuses of public resources and offices but because of seemingly pious people who garb selfish personal interests in cloaks of righteousness. Such men of god who fail to speak up when poor people are paid K10,000 from public works programme but are forced to pay K12,500 for a bag of maize at the tax-funded Admarc just because the same rulers have stolen money meant to subsidise the prices.

Malawi is cursed when senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials get money from Escom and water boards but fail to supply material. This forces ordinary people who pay up for the services, religiously, to spend nights in the dark.

The country is blighted because of senior government officials who connive to saddle the poor with inflated maize prices and cover each other up through dubious commissions of inquiry done by some questionable characters.

Lastly, Makondetsa should do himself some favour to read 1 Kings 22:15-18 to see how real men of God such as Micaiah told the king the truth that he would not win his war. Suppose God tells Makondetsa to tell Mutharika that he shall not win the 2019 elections, can he deliver the message? Otherwise, Makondetsa can continue being a mercenary and not a missionary but he should not think that Malawians will stop claiming their God given rights just because he and other pastors are drinking from silver goblets.

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