Judith Moyo – Nyasa Times: The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has threatened to deal with one of the country’s renowned clerics, the Reverend Maurice Munthali who retired from the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Livingstonia Synod, to join active politics with membership in main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Speaking at a political rally at Mkombezi near Phwezi in Rumphi, DPP vice-president for the North, Goodall Gondwe and the governor for the North, Kenneth Sanga, took turn to blast Rev Munthali.
Gondwe, who is also Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, said he was not pleased that Munthali has decided to join MCP.
He said Munthali was at some point “extremely close” to DPP but his move to MCP is worrying.
Gondwe said he felt “sorry” that Munthali has decided to join MCP instead of DPP.
On his part, Sanga attacked Munthali for rge prayer he offered at Phwezi on December 29 2017 when MCP president Lazarus Chakwera addressed a rally to welcome him into the party’s fold.
Munthali’s prayer, he said the country “was in an accident” cause by its own citizens by putting in power wrong people.
“Because of this accident, we have never ending blackouts, now have legislatirs voting wrongly on the Electoral Reforms Bills, because of this accident, we have never ending poverty and corruption,” Munthali prayed.
He continued: “ Because of this accident, we have a driver of a country who doesn’t know that the country has been involved in an accident, he doesn’t know where he is heading to with the country, and doesn’t know how to get the country out of that accident.”
But Sanga said the prayer was “insulting” President Peter Mutharika and threatened to expose “secrets” of Munthali if he continues to attack the President.
“I know the secrets that the church us hiding for him,” said Sanga.
But Munthali said when prayer has been offered, the responses can only come from God Himself and not fellow human being.
“Every prayer is directed to God by way of thanks, praise, petition or intercession, What one brings before God in prayer is supposed to be real and representation of the feelings, needs and challenges we face daily,” he said.
He said threats made by DPP will make him stronger.
Munthali is said to be aspiring to contest for Rumphi West parliamentary seat o.
For the past 12 years, this man of God has never made it easy for government. This man of God He has used every opportunity—be it through the Public Affairs Committee (PAC), the pulpit, or even through prayer—to critique government on various socioeconomic challenges affecting the country.
Actually, during the July 6 2017 commemorations in Mzuzu, Minister of Civic Education Grace Chiumia ‘responded’ to his prayer in which he lamented the lack of a sustainable development plan for the country’s successive leaders.
Assuming Munthali stands in 2019, he us likely to face DPP councillor for Masasa Ward in Mzuzu, Yona Mkandawire, who is also eyeing the same seat. The Rumphi West seat is currently occupied by Jacqueline Kouwenhoven.
Born on July 25 1956 at Chimbata Village, Mwazizi under Chikulamayembe in Rumphi, Munthali is married to Thandie Luhanga and they have three children, and three grandchildren.
Having obtained a certificate in Theology at Livingstonia Theological College, Munthali obtained a Diploma in the same field in 1994 from Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation in Zambia. He was offered an honorary Masters degree in Theology in 2015 by the University of Jerusalem.
He has worked in eight parishes of the Synod. He opened his clerical work at Lupaso in Mzimba (1985-1987), then Mpherembe (1987-88), Ekwendeni (1988-1990), Dwangwa (1990-1994).
He then served as the Synod’s literacy secretary between 1995 and 2004. At the same time, between 2000 and 2003, he ministered at Chibavi, and later became General Secretary for the Synod between 2004 and 2012.
In 2012, he served the Lilongwe church up to 2016, when he was transferred to Katawa in Mzuzu where he has served until his retirement.
Besides, Munthali has been moderator for the Synod, and has also served as board chairperson for the Christian Literature Association of Malawi (Claim) and Zomba Theological College. He has also served as a member of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) for 12 years.