Senior officials of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Saturday took turns to attack the Reverend Maurice Munthali for ‘attacking’ President Peter Mutharika during a prayer he offered at Phwezi in Rumphi on December 29 2017.
The DPP officials said they felt ‘sorry’ for Munthali’s decision to join the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and have since threatened to expose his secrets if he continues attacking the President.
The officials issued the threat during a rally they addressed at Mkombezi in Rumphi, a few kilometres away from Phwezi where Munthali offered the prayer.
During the Phwezi rally addressed by MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, Munthali offered a prayer in which he said the country “was in an accident” which unfortunately people themselves created by putting in office wrong leaders.
He prayed: “Because of this accident, we have never ending blackouts, now have legislators voting wrongly on the Electoral Reforms Bills, because of this accident, we have never ending poverty and corruption.
“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 even know how to get the country out of that accident.”
The prayer did not amuse DPP governor for the North, Kenneth Sanga, who during the Mkombezi rally, threatened to expose Munthali’s secrets.
He said: “I also congregate with the CCAP, where I am also a leader, so I know all his secrets. Munthali is now retired and if what he wants to do is attack Mutharika, I repeat, I will expose everything about him. I know the secrets that the church is hiding for him.
“The prayer he offered was not good. He kept on insulting the President throughout. As DPP, we have no problems with the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, but with Munthali himself. Actually, the synod is much better now without him.”
DPP vice-president for the North, Goodall Gondwe, who is also Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, said he was surprised and felt sorry that out of all parties, Munthali has chosen to go to bed with MCP.
He said Munthali was at some point an ‘extremely important’ person to DPP. However, he said the DPP is not shaken with his move.
“Reverend Munthali has been everywhere. He has been in the church, but he did intermingle with the leadership in Aford [Alliance for Democracy], PP [People’s Party], DPP and now he says he is MCP. So, it is not certain where he will be two days from now.
“At some point, he was extremely close to us in DPP, and used to tell us a number of things that are happening in other parties, and now in MCP, it will be very interesting to watch how he will behave from now on.”
In an interview, Munthali said it was unfortunate that a prayer can be debated upon, let alone to have to attack someone who rendered it.
He said: “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 a representation of the feelings, needs and challenges we face daily.
“It is God and only Him who looks at what we present before Him. We only have to wait for responses from God Himself and not our fellow human beings. I hope they were not responding to the prayer in their remarks.”
On why he joined MCP, Munthali said those in DPP should feel sorry for the people of Rumphi West Constituency, including Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe himself, because they are the ones that asked him to choose MCP.
He said: “I have never ever registered my name among those who fear and will not do so. Threats are usually targeted at those who are deemed fearless. I love threats because they make me stronger and even more patriotic.”
Assuming he contests the Rumphi West seat in 2019, Munthali is likely to face DPP councillor for Masasa Ward in Mzuzu, Yona Mkandawire. Rumphi West is currently held by Jacqueline Kouwenhoven.