Representatives of government, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Livingstonia Synod yesterday spoiled the send-off church service for former Cabinet minister in the one-party State the late Robson Chirwa in Mzuzu.
The three parties turned the service into a political battlefield as they attacked each other in their apparent bids to give Chirwa’s value to the nation.
Chirwa, who served in the Cabinet of founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda, has generally been described as a humble person who gave sound advice and provided solutions to problems.
However, his humble life and advisory role sparked fire when the speakers, during the church service, started using his distinguished characteristics to point fingers at one another.
MCP deputy secretary general James Kaunda sparked the fire when he blamed government for not taking heed of opposition advice. He said some of the advice was coming from the late Chirwa who government decided to give military honours during his funeral.
He said government should stop being arrogant.
In response, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia, who represented government, blasted MCP leadership for its confrontation approach, saying real leaders offer solutions to problems and not criticism only.
She called on the MCP to emulate the life of Chirwa who she described as an icon for the nation.
Chiumia said Chirwa and other older MCP members were good at giving solutions to problems unlike the present MCP. She said if the party does not walk in the footprints of Chirwa it will heavily lose out.
She said: “Please tell the MCP president that it is worrisome for the party to always criticize government. When government has erred and we say help with solutions, you don’t give any. People like Robson Chirwa gave solutions on how things should be done and that is why I am saying we have lost an icon for the nation.”
CCAP Livingstonia Synod moderator the reverend Douglas Chipofya attacked all governments after the one-party system, saying they have only brought misery to Malawians. He said the MCP regime was great but the country has not benefited in its fight for democracy.
The situation worsened when the Reverend Maurice Munthali took to the podium to say a closing prayer.
Munthali’s prayer sent people into stitches of laughter and drew rounds of applause as he condemned corrupt practices by current politicians, including Cabinet ministers.
The cleric said he wished the clergy had powers to choose who should die as they would settle for corrupt Cabinet ministers and other politicians whose greed, he said, is heavily affecting the country.
In the prayer, Munthali wondered why God had taken Chirwa first, leaving corrupt ministers and other politicians who are abusing government resources at the expense of poor Malawians.
He said Chirwa lived a very humble life and was not bothered with amassing wealth as is the case of current ministers.
Said Munthali: “He lived in a small house without a fence, but that is not the case with these ministers of today. They are stealing and are inconsiderate. People are suffering because of such people.
“Right now, we are mourning two funerals, one for Robson Chirwa and the other for corrupt people. If it were possible that we choose who should die, we would have asked God to spare Robson Chirwa and get these greedy ones.” n