He denies the charges that he was connected with the murder of a person with albinism, McDonald Masambuka, 22, and the case is still in court.
But the arrest of Father Thomas Muhosha has confused the Catholic faithful of Saint Agnes Mlombozi Parish in Zomba Diocese.
Mlombozi Parish officials estimate that about 25 regular Christians have stopped going to church for reasons they link to the incident involving the man of God, now on trial.
Fr Muhosha was arrested last year alongside 21 other suspects—including a police officer and a physician—in connection with the brutal murder of Msambuka in Machinga in March last year.
When Nation on Sunday visited the parish and the surrounding villages to interview some Catholic faithful, the image of a shaken community emerged.
Rabson Tsegula, a long-serving member and worker at the parish rectory, said Muhosha’s arrest shook the parish and its four outstations, namely Nambande, Majawa, Somela and Namadzi.
He observed that Fr Muhosha was one of the most loved priests at the parish, which was established in 1959, as he was in good terms with both church and community members.
“A week before his arrest, he did not show up to say mass and there was no communication to the church. Instead, it was our catechist who led the prayers,” Tsegula explained.
He added: “After hearing the news of Father Muhosha’s arrest, the church was in total disarray.
was almost empty during mass, which was said by another priest. The visiting priest was at pains to explain what had happened to his colleague, but he assured us that all will be fine.”The following Sunday, the church
One of the church members who have stopped attending mass at the parish, Malita Chimwaza of Macheche Village in Traditional Authority Mlumbe in the district, echoed Tsegula’s sentiments that church members were disturbed by their priest’s involvement in the case.
She said his arrest has shaken the foundation of her faith; hence, her decision to give herself a break.
“I could not help, but cry like a baby when I first listened to Zodiak [radio] on his arrest because he was one of the best priests we have ever had.
“He was always there for you in bad and good times, regardless of your status. I have no energy to go to church again because of what happened to him,” Chimwaza said tearfully.
The catechist, who has been serving at the parish since 2003, and the visiting priest refused to confirm the number of Christians who have stopped going to church because of Fr Muhosha’s arrest, on account that the issue is still in court.