Archbishop of the Blantyre Archdiocese of the Catholic Church Thomas Luke Msusa on Thursday spit fire at state-controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Television and the government for using him in propaganda programmes.
Msusa said this on the second day of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) 5+1 All-inclusive Stakeholders Conference held in Blantyre from Wednesday to Thursday.
He started with an appeal to Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Samuel Tembenu to consider regulating MBC so that it stops violating the rights of other people.
The Archbishop then accused MBC TV of quoting him out of context during a meeting which religious leaders had with President Peter Mutharika.
According to Msusa, he is portrayed on MBC TV as saying that— as leader of the Catholic church in Malawi, by virtue of being Episcopal Conference of Malawi Chairperson— he is entirely in support of every government undertaking.
“The President invited religious leaders to Kamuzu Palace [in Lilongwe] where I was chosen to chair the team of the clergy that attended the meeting. The President applauded us for being partners in development and asked us to continue supporting government in areas of education, health and other social responsibilities. In return, I said that we will continue helping it as we are partners in development.
“To my surprise, MBC is using that to portray that I do agree and support everything that government is doing. So I am asking you ministers present here that: is that Justice?” Msusa said.
Msusa went on to say that he is angered by what MBC is doing, and which government officials are apparently tolerating.
“I am angry; you are quoting me out of context and I am showing my anger now because that is not in order. However, as a religious leader, I have forgiven you,” Msusa said.
Before taking his seat, Msusa had a piece of advice to government, saying it should try to tame the feelings of the people.
“I am not a prophet but I will say this from history; one day the power of the gun will not be feared and the power of the muscle will speak louder than that of a gun,” he said.
However, Dausi apologised for MBC TV’s portrayal of Bishop Msusa.
“I am a Catholic faithful myself, I am apologising and, as the minister responsible, I take responsibility for whatever has been happening and I will take necessary measures to ensure that that does not happen again. We are happy that he said that he has forgiven us,” Dausi said.
Maravi Post understand that MBC used Msusa’s voice in order to frustrate members of PAC and people who attended the session.
Government through MBC also used senior traditional leaders to castigate PAC members for organizing the two days session saying it was aimed at dethroning President Mutharika.
However, the meeting ended peacefully and government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi described it as a future of Malawi.