My take on Ama’s pilgrimage to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) excited quite some interesting feedback.
“That woman exists as an individual and she can choose to exercise her faith anyhow she chooses,” wrote a correspondent.
“You yourself wrote that she is Joyce Banda the person first before being Joyce Banda the President,” someone mocked me. “Why then do you question the way she practices her faith?”
Another took issue with my insinuating that while in a trance (malilime) President Banda was possessed with some powers that made her incapacitated which has serious constitutional implications her being the CEO of Malawi Inc.
“We can’t understand all things,” this correspondent wrote. “Let’s just respect and ignore what others do even if we don’t like them.”
Others were more militant. “Touch not the anointed man of God or you shall burn in hell!” one fumed. “You should praise the Lord for having a leader who believes.”
Mmmh! But others agreed with me that Abiti was taking her faith too far. “How can she lie to us that it was a private pilgrimage when Brown Mpinganjira and Hawa Ndilowe accompanied her?” queried one. “Did she pay for them out of her pocket? Obviously not! The President cannot move without the tax payer involved, there are issues of security and protocol that cost serious money.”
“Indeed ‘what’s with TB Joshua’?” someone wrote. “If the self-styled prophet is indeed the real deal why can he not warn his fellow countrymen who get slaughtered by Boko Haram daily?”
“We have our own prophets here, Bushiri and the like,” someone suggested. “Why does she waste money flying all the way to Lagos when she can just drive to Mzuzu to pray with Bushiri or Ndirande to meet Mark Kambalazaza?”
I know matters of faith are touchy-feely. Like I said, major wars have been fuelled by Christianity and Islam, the world’s major religions. I have no qualms with Joyce Banda praying with whomsoever she chooses but we must discuss these things. We are in a democracy, are we not?