Vice-President (VP) Saulos Chilima was the centre of attraction yesterday at Mponela in Dowa where he surprised many people as he drove by himself to pray at the new Mponela Catholic Church.
First to be taken unawares were Malawi Police Service traffic officers who were directing the VP’s motorcade as they were visibly shocked to see that the man behind the steering wheel was Chilima himself in his personal Mercedes Benz with personalised registration SKC 7733.
“This man [Chilima] is so humble and down to earth. Look, he is driving by himself,” chorused three men who lined up to watch the VP park and alight from the vehicle.
Pilirani Phiri, press officer in the Office of the Vice-President, said it was not the first time that the VP had driven by himself. He said Chilima does so in Lilongwe when going to church on Sundays.
Said Phiri: “He likes driving by himself when going to church. Naturally, in my opinion, this makes him feel he is going to church as an ordinary human being to praise God and not as Vice-President of the Republic of Malawi.”
About the church service in Mponela, Phiri said the VP was invited to attend mass as a Catholic.
Phiri also added that some time back when the VP was serving as Airtel Malawi managing director, he contributed 200 bags of cement towards the church project. Yesterday, he pledged a further 200 bags of cement.
The building is now nearing completion and the church used Sunday’s mass to raise funds.