Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka has appointed Reverend Father Doctor Steven Bulambo as Judicial Vicar of the Tribunal of the Diocese of Karonga.
Father Bulambo, who holds a Doctorate Degree in Canon Law, was until this appointment Judicial Vicar Designate of the Diocese. This appointment follows a message from the Supreme Tribunal in the Vatican confirming Father Bulambo for the post.
In the appointment letter, Bishop Mtumbuka has said that as Judicial Vicar, Father Bulambo will lead, manage and coordinate [the Tribunal of the Diocese of Karonga which is] an important pastoral tool of the Diocese by assisting the faithful who need their marriage cases attended to so that they can return to sacramental life.
“In carrying out this difficult but noble task, together with your colleagues in the Tribunal, you will assist many Christians to acquire a closer union with our risen Lord through his sacraments,” reads part of the letter.
The Youth Chaplaincy of the Diocese of Karonga is committed to deliver programmes aimed at helping young people to develop strong faith.
Father Songa made these remarks when he presided over Karonga Deanery youth quiz and sports league competition at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral. The competitions targeted senior Sunday school youth and involved Bible and catechism quiz, and football and netball matches (Tuntufye Trophy).
Father Songa cited, for example, the teaching of the New Catechism which is helping young people of the Diocese to grow in faith. He cited quiz as an example of checking whether or not these young people are getting the most out of their lessons.
Father Songa expressed that he was satisfied with the great improvement in answering questions posed in the exercise. He expressed need to do more in reaching the youth with the gospel, liturgy and catechism of the Catholic Church.
Quiz is recorded and aired on Tuntufye FM Radio which helps those in other areas of the Diocese to learn through the radio. Furthermore Father Songa encouraged these youths to be listening to the radio to learn more about the catholic faith.
Father Songa further asked all priests, catechists, and teachers in the Diocese of Karonga to take seriously the teaching and ongoing formation of these youths so that they develop strong faith for their salvation.
He also revealed that his office is running a programme of building youth’s capacity in conflict management and peace building. This he said will help curb violent conflicts that are on the rise in the jurisdiction of Karonga Diocese.
Father Songa said the Youth Task Force will continue working together with the Diocesan Pastoral Office to ensure that youth programmes are delivered and achieved in all parishes of the Diocese. He also hinted that his office will hold regular meetings with parish youth chaplains to discuss ways of helping young people receive the Good news of salvation.
And one of the participants, Arthur Prosper Mwenibabu from St Steven’s Parish, said there is need for frequent activities of this nature for them to grow in faith and be able be able to defend the Catholic faith.
St Anne’s Parish will represent Karonga Deanery quiz at the Diocesan level and in sports St Steven’s Parish will represent Karonga Deanery. The Sunday School Project is funded by the Coppel’s Family in Mexico.
The leadership of the Diocese of Karonga has described as uncalled for, the tendency of underrating girls’ capacity for attaining higher education common among most Malawians.
Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka said this on Monday at the newly established Saint Mary Girls’ Secondary School in Karonga District.
In a quest to break the record that girls can also excel in education like boys, given equal opportunities, Bishop Mtumbuka handed over a brand new Toyota Hiace minibus to the school to ease mobility challenges for both learners and staff at the institution. The minibus has been bought by the Diocese of Karonga with financial support from Team Lift.
“The church recognizes the new government policy that prohibits schools from ferrying pupils in open vehicles during their educational trips. That is why we thought of buying this minibus for the school. They have stayed for quite some time using a small vehicle and sometimes open ones,” explained the Bishop.
He further appealed to learners to take good care of the vehicle. He also urged them to work hard in school to make their parents and the whole nation proud.
The Bishop added that being at a Christian school, learners must strive for excellence both spiritually and physically. He discouraged learners from being selfish to their colleagues for them to become reliable citizens who could bring the nation to light as greedy characters derail national development.
The school’s Deputy Head Teacher, Farriot Ngwira commended the kind gesture shown by the diocese through the donation of the vehicle which in the long run will improve the standards of education.
“Our learners now have an opportunity to have exchange learning visits to their sister schools to learn what their colleagues do, to do well academically. We will also have no problems in ferrying them to hospital when they fall sick,” Ngwira said.
Furthermore, the deputy head assured the general public that they should expect good results from the school as they are currently already doing well.
In expressing her gratitude on behalf of her peers, one of the exceptional pupils, a 14 year old form two Clever Banda whose ambition is to become a Quantity Surveyor, said she is optimistic that the school will bring joy to the church, parents and the nation as a whole as they will now put more effort in their studies.
The seemingly brilliant girl further called upon the diocese to reconsider them with additional academic books and laboratory equipment to sharpen their knowledge.
Established in 2017 and situated at the lake view mountain at Mwenilondo, the school is currently accommodating about 200 learners in forms one and two but it is designed to host about 600 learners.
In solidarity with the newly established St Cecilia Mpherembe Parish, Catholic Christians of Karonga Diocese have donated assorted start-up items. This followed the appeal by Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Diocese of Karonga, to Catholic Christians to donate generously towards the parish.
Following the Bishop’s call, various parishes dedicated First Sunday of Advent collections to the aid of the new parish.
Father Steven Bulambo PhD, Judicial Vicar Designate, led a delegation from Karonga Diocese to Mpherembe to handover the gifts from Karonga. Among the gifts delivered were kitchen utensils, bicycles, catechism book, food stuffs, and other items and a cheque worth K430,500.
Speaking on behalf of Bishop Mtumbuka at the function, Father Bulambo said that giving does not mean you have plenty, but the heart of the Christians. He stated that they are aware on a number of challenges that come when a parish has just been established.
“We know quite well the challenges that newly established parishes face. That is why the Bishop Martin Mtumbuka and the entire community of Karonga Diocese thought of helping St. Cecilia Parish.” Said Father Bulambo.
Expressing his gratitude on behalf of the Christians of St. Cecilia Parish, the Parish Priest Father Isaiah Nyirenda, said he least expected help from the Diocese of Karonga, being a baby diocese of Mzuzu.
“The Diocese of Karonga is teaching us that no one has a lot to share and there is no one who has nothing to give.” Said Father Nyirenda.
Right Reverend John Ryan, Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese, established St. Cecilia Mpherembe Parish from St. John Mzambazi in Easter 2017.
The Board of Governors of Chaminade Secondary School has today, the 20th of January 2018 awarded all workers of the school for the prowess demonstrated through the colourful 2017 MSCE results.
During the ceremony, the Diocesan Education Desk Officer, Mr Remmie Kamanga commended the school for the steady progress in producing excellent MSCE results. He said that this is a clear manifestation of unity, cooperation and commitment of all players in the school, more especially among teaching staff, none teaching staff and students.
He emphasized that each of the three parties are playing a key role in the success of the school. In a special way he thanked the board of governors for their guidance and the Marianist Brothers for their managerial and financial support. He pledged total support from the Diocese at all times. The board chairperson, Mr Kayange, concurred with the Education Desk Officer and gave a summary of results for the past three years as in the table below:
Chaminade Secondary School is known for its high standards of discipline, spirituality and academics. The school has been a star performer for the past six years in the Northern Education Division and one of the best in the country. Issues of riots, strikes, dropouts, absenteeism and other forms of indiscipline do not have a place at the school. Teachers of the school are well qualified and very hard working.
The awards were in form of monetary tokens which were determined by level of involvement for all staff and individual performance in one’s subject for the teaching staff. The one who produced the highest number of distinctions got the highest amount of money. In the 2017 MSCE results, the highest performing teacher was Mr. Mkandawire, who produced 77 distinctions in Mathematics.
These awards among others are given to employees of the school, both teaching and none teaching staff every year for their good performance. This is a good source of motivation to these employees to work even harder. This is why the school’s performance improves each and every year.
The Development Desk of Karonga Diocese with financial support from MISEREOR is implementing a 3 years livelihood project in Karonga and Chitipa Districts. The project aims at building community resilience to the effects of climate change through various adaptation and mitigation strategies.
The Project, among other objectives, is working with farmers in use of climate smart agricultural technologies that have the capability to withstand shock due to climate change. The project has set up demonstration plots in all the 4 traditional authorities under the Project where several practices are showcased such practices are pit planting, conservation agriculture, use of manure in crop production, use of legumes to improve soil fertility and use of water and soil conservation measures for guiding against soil erosion.
Situation analysis of the agricultural production Unit component
Malawi confirmed, in February last year, the presence and attack on maize fields by fall armyworms which reduced yield by almost half. Government took measures to address the problem by buying chemicals to spray against the pest. Due to late delivery and limited access to the chemicals, not all farmers accessed the chemicals hence the pest was not effectively controlled.
During the 2017-18 farming season, Karonga ADD which covers Karonga and Chitipa Districts has reported the attack of the pest in many farmers fields. In Chitipa out of 3,954 hectares (Ha) planted with maize, 3,760 hectares have been attacked by the pest. In Karonga, out of 23,703 hectares of maize fields, 9,921 hectares have been attacked by the pest.
Risk associated with the Pest to the farmers
According to the Development Desk the recent attack by fall armyworms is worrisome as it is affecting performance of the set demonstration plots to adequately deliver the intended messages to the farmers. Further to this, the attack by the fall armyworms is a threat to agricultural production by smallholder farmers since the attack reduces yield by almost half. Crop production by smallholder farmers in the current farming season may be reduce if the pest damage is not contained in time.
Efforts by the Development Desk towards the fight against fall army worms
The Development Desk is collaborating with Government through sensitization campaigns through the Radio and extension workers on how farmers could scout for the pest and control it. The Desk is asking farmers to report any attack by fall armyworms to Government extension workers or its Field staff for proper treatment with chemicals that are pre-positioned in extension planning areas (EPAs). Farmers and the wilder farming community are also advised on other biological and physical control measures to control the damaging pest.
Efforts by the Government towards addressing the problem of fall armyworm
Government has received and distributed 500 litres of Chlorpyrifos (Sulban) and armyworm traps to all EPAs in Karonga ADD to fight the pest. Government is further planning for installation of traps for the army worms and delivery of materials is expected from 17 to 19 January, 2018.
On 16th January 2018, the Pastoral Commission oriented priests of the Diocese of Karonga on Small Christian Communities. This is in response to Bishop Martin Mtumbuka’s declaration that the current liturgical year is “Year of My Small Christian Community”. The meeting took place at St Kizito Conference Centre in St Michael’s Parish, Chitipa.
The meeting had two aims, namely: to establish a uniform understanding on Small Christian Communities among all priests for uniform application in their respective parishes and to plan together on the relevant interventions for strengthening Small Christian Communities in the Diocese.
All priests currently resident in the Diocese attended the meeting. The priests had time to discuss and plan the way forward on Small Christian Communities from different perspectives. They discussed and summarized challenges, collected from the lay faithful from all parishes in the Diocese, and their corresponding solutions.
They had time to share on the Historical and Biblical Foundations of Small Christian Communities, the history of Small Christian Communities in the AMECEA region in general and Malawi in particular, the nature of Small Christian Communities and their purpose, and ways of conducting Small Christian Communities meetings.
They were also oriented on the best possible ways of monitoring and evaluating progress of the Diocese’s interventions on SCC.
Finally, they consolidated their discussions into an action plan for the Diocese that includes training the lay faithful and their leaders on Small Christian Communities, choir competitions on the theme “Year of My Small Christian Community” as well as monitoring and evaluation activities on the same.
The Board of Directors for Chipunga Farm Limited held their first meeting on 14th January where among other things, they elected office bearers. This meeting followed the official handover of the farm earlier this month.
Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga appointed the Board of Directors to play an advisory role in the management of the farm.
Mr Bob Jere, a lecture in Aquaculture at Mzuzu University, who had earlier been appointed Interim Chairperson chaired the meeting. During the meeting, the Board members confirmed Mr Bob Jere as Chairperson of the Board.
In the absence of the Executive Director, Mr Stephano Nkhata, Resource Mobilisation Officer, was confirmed as Secretary of the Board. The allocation of Board members into different positions was based on experience and field of specialization.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Jere expressed gratitude to the board members for entrusting him with the task. He promised to together with the members and Diocese as a whole to achieve the mission of the Diocese of Karonga.
The chairperson also thanked Bishop Mtumbuka for the best composition of the Board.
“The Board members are people of dynamic skills and expertise which is very advantageous to the smooth running of the farm,” He said.
Other members to the Board include: Mr Paul Guta, Business Administrator for Nedbank Malawi; Mr John Gift Mwakhwawa, Lawyer; Mr Ben Longwe and Mr Clement Mwale, Engineers; Mr Alfred Longwe and Stephano Nkhata, Marketers; Madam Kefasi Chawinga, Land Management specialist.
The board has also ex officials who will help a lot in the development of the farm. Among the ex-official members is Mr Daniel Zimba who has a vast experience in the growing and production of Coffee. Other ex-official members are Father Cecilio Silwamba, Director of Finance, Investment and Administration; Mr Mwawi Shaba, Caritas Secretary; Mr Franklin Msiska, Development Desk Officer.
The Education Department of the Diocese of Karonga administered preliminary examinations for entry to form one for the academic year 2018/19 in Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese.
The examinations were prepared by the department and administered in all parishes at zone level under the coordination of Methodology Advisors who are education officers in the parishes. The examination took place on Saturday 13th January, 2018 and drew over 700 learners in all the 9 parishes of the Diocese.
The paper was a blend of various subjects like Mathematics, English, Religious Education and General Studies. The successful candidates at pastoral zone level will the sit for another examination which will be at parish level then will take a final paper at national level. This is a formal process of selecting learners to start Form One 1 in Catholic secondary schools.
The process is very important as it is so far the best criterion for identifying deserving learners to start secondary education. Candidates sitting for these examinations prepare very well with the assistance of teachers, hence, the stiff competition to secure a place at secondary school.
Catholic secondary schools are renowned for their excellence in holistic education which takes care of academic, spiritual, physical and moral growth of a child. This is why every parent would want his or her ward to go to a Catholic school. Many learners too vie for these schools to attain sound education.
Karonga Diocese boasts of Chaminade Secondary School, Kaseye Girls Secondary School, St Ignatius Loyola Secondary School and also St Monica Community Day Secondary School, Ngara Community Day Secondary School, St Anne’s Community Day Secondary school and Fulirwa Community Day Secondary School. Chaminade Secondary School, for example, has taught so many boys who are now in great leadership positions in Malawi.
Before the 15th of January 2015, all Malawian nationals celebrated the brave life of Rev. John Chilembe. Thereafter, one more reason was attached to the date: celebrating another extraordinary brave life of Rt. Rev. Joseph Mukasa Zuza.
Leading the Catholic Christians of the Diocese of Karonga in Eucharistic celebration commemorating the life of Late Bishop Zuza on Monday, 15th January, 2018, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka highlighted the life of Bishop Zuza centering on his “servant” character.
“When gathered as Bishops at ECM plenary, usually members of Catholic Women Organisation served us during meal time. But Late Bishop Zuza would join the ladies to serve us his fellow Bishops. This is a rare character that Bishop Zuza had.” Stated Bishop Mtumbuka as he introduced the memorial Mass which he offered in the St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral.
He also reminded Christians from all corners of the Diocese, who gathered in the Cathedral, that before Karonga was a diocese, Bishop Zuza pastored this whole area and most Christians knew Bishop Zuza except very little children: hence the reason to set aside 15th January as a day of reflection and prayer for the fallen Hero; Bishop Zuza.
Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza died on the 15th of January, 2015 in a road accident at Nthungwa on Mzuzu – Mzimba road as he was driving to Mzuzu from his home. He was laid to rest on 19 January, 2015 at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Mzuzu.
He hailed from Mhlafuta Village, Malembo area in Mzimba District. Until the time of his death, he was the Chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.
Bishop Zuza is fondly remembered by Catholics and all people as a cheerful and bold leader. He fearlessly pointed out the wrongs, even those committed by government.