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Archives June 2019

Mons. Denis Chitete leading the Eucharistic procession
Christians Challenged to Witness to Christ’s Real Presence in Their Lives

By Benjamin Msowoya

The Vicar General of the Diocese of Karonga, Monsignor Denis Chitete, celebrated the Feast of the Corpus Christi on 23 June 2015 with Catholics of Mpata Outstation Church.  Catholics from all the three prayer centres that form Mpata Outstation gathered at Mpata prayer centre for the Feast of the Corpus Christi.

In his homily, the Vicar General said that during the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Church celebrates the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.  He added that it is a celebration of God’s continued presence in our lives.

“Christian life is like a long and difficult journey that needs continued nourishment or refueling.  We are so lucky that Jesus left us his body and blood, the Eucharist, to refuel us on this journey,” he said.

He asked the congregation to take the feast as an opportunity to seriously reflect on their communion and union with Jesus Christ.

Monsignor Denis Chitete also challenged the congregation to (i) re-awaken their hunger for Christ in the Eucharist and (ii) participate actively during Eucharistic Celebrations rather than just being present during Mass as spectators.

He urged to manifest to the world, through their lives, the fruits of their faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

The Sunday Liturgy ended with the exposition of the Holy Eucharist during the procession and benediction.  On Saturday before the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi on Sunday, the Vicar General, accompanied by local church leaders of Mpata, visited the sick within Mpata area.

Robert Silungwe contributing during the session
Karonga Youth Call on Justice and Peace to Continue with 50-50 Campaign

By Wezi Mwangonde

Youth groups in Karonga District have asked Justice and Peace Desk under Karonga Diocese to continue encouraging women to take an active part in politics even when the election period is over.

Speaking during the interface meeting on post elections analysis, Davie Kitalu said it is so pathetic that one woman has been voted as councilor in the district despite all the effort put forward by many organizations in sensitizing the need for meaningful women representation in politics.

Kitalu says the challenge is that women manifestos were not targeting the youth therefore it was difficult for the youth to vote for these women in the just ended 2019 Tripartite Elections.

“Although the country awaits for 2024, time is now for Justice and Peace and other partners to start encouraging women to take part in politics and it is my hope that if the 50:50 campaign starts early many women may be voted as councilors and members of parliament’, said Kitalu.

Moses Mwakisalu from the Justice and peace Desk highlighted that despite the civic education and capacity building on the need for women participation in politics, culture and inadequate funds among shadow women councilors and members of parliament have contributed to the poor performance of women in Karonga District.

Mwakisalu added that most community members still undermine women that they cannot perform once voted into positions. This he said was a challenge to women as the electorate voted for men.

“We did our part but culture maintained its root. To reduce the challenge we need to change the mindset of people because it is them who vote,” explained Mwakisalu.

A cross-section of participants during the training session
Justice and Peace Mentors Newly Elected Councillors in Gender Budget Tracking

By Wezi Mwangonde and Gomezgani Mhango

As newly elected councillors await their swearing in most districts in the country, Justice and Peace Desk under the Diocese of Karonga has imparted gender budget tracking skills in councillors of Karonga Nyungwe, South and Central constituencies.

Obert Mkandawire facilitating during the training session
Obert Mkandawire facilitating during the training session

In an interview, Justice and Peace Project Officer Obert Mkandawire says councillors have a responsibility to ensure that their communities are aware of the yearly budget allocation towards various development so that there should be no challenges in budget tracking.

Mkandawire has reminded councilors that they are the representatives of the people from the communities under their jurisdiction therefore transparency and accountability on development funds is very vital in transforming a community.

“Even if this project will phase out councillors, youths and women groups in Wasambo and Mwirang’ombe Traditional Authorities have acquired knowledge on gender budget tracking. The mentorship sessions have also provided good procedures on budget tracking”, said Mkandawire.

Beliam Msukwa Mlare Ward Councillor concurred with Mkandawire describing the mentorship as eye opener for it is their first time that they will be part of the council representing the community.

He further said the Justice and Peace Desk has provided them with fundamental skills which are relevant to their role as councillors.

“Am very grateful to CCJP and it is my hope that as new councilors we will not have challenges on gender budget tracking,’’ said Msukwa.

Nyungwe Area Development Committee Chairperson, Naomi Munthali has asked councillors that when allocating development projects they should make sure that the infrastructures such as classroom blocks and hospitals are disability friendly so as to accommodate everyone.

“It is my plea to the incumbent councilors that they should help us to transform our communities. As ADC’s we expect good working relationship as we have trust that they will fulfil the duties we have given them,’’ explained Munthali.

Monsignor Chitete with Tailoring Students at their Pavilion
Monsignor Chitete Impressed with Community Based Vocational Skills Project

By Solomon Manda

The Vicar General of the Diocese of Karonga Monsignor Denis Chitete has expressed satisfaction with the progress of the Community Based Vocational Skills Project being implemented by the Education Desk in fie communities in the Diocese.

The Vicar General could not hide his joy when he visited the project sites to appreciate the reception of the project by the beneficiaries and how they are applying themselves in the same. The project aims at reducing levels of unemployment among the youth who in turn will be advocates of peace in their communities.

Interacting with the youths during the monitoring session, Monsignor Chitete was impressed with the responses from the youth which showed that they have understood the goal and objectives of the project.

“I am happy to hear this from you. It shows that you really understand why the Diocese of Karonga brought this project to you,” he remarked at one of the centers.

He further commended them for taking such opportunity seriously.

“The Diocese of Karonga desires mindset change among the youths. They should desist from being used by influential people to perpetrate violence for people to live in peace and harmony. This is exactly what we have witnessed today,” he explained.

The beneficiaries hailed the Archdioceses of Bumberg and Archdiocese of Freiburg for their financial support. They also thanked the Diocese of Karonga for giving them the opportunity on the ground as the project has changed their lives economically and way of thinking.

A Flame of Charity Goes Off: Sr. Chipeta Goes to the Father

By Moses Raymond Kamanga*

Scores of people woke up to the sudden demise of Sister Beatrice Chipeta founder of Lusubilo Orphan Home Based Care and Village. The Wednesday morning of 19th of June, bright as it promised, went dark; the flame of charity grew weaker and weaker and went off at sunrises at Karonga District Hospital where she was rushed after a sudden illness.

Born in 1942 at Echiziweni Village in Mzimba District, Sr Beatrice, born a Presbyterian, was baptized in the Catholic Church on 23 September in 1958. Later, she joined the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Rosary and took her first vows on 8 December, 1962.

As a Sister of the Holy Rosary, Sr. Beatrice trained in Primary education, qualified
and taught for 33 years before she retired in 1993. She then went to Tanzania for a course in counselling and 1997 she set up Lusubilo Home Based Care and Village through which she gained special recognition; one of such being the Opus Prize she received in 2010.

Despite touching thousands of lives through her initiative, in many interviews and conversations, Sister Beatrice never mentioned her name but that of Christ in all the achievements.

The 77 year old nun, has been described by many as “Mother Theresa” of our time due to her selfless approach to charity and prayer. She served as a nun for 57 years and till her death she has been the Director of Lusubilo Home Based Orphan Care and Village. Laid to rest on Thursday, 20th of  June, 2019 at Katoto cemetery after requiem mass held at St. Peters Cathedral in Mzuzu Diocese, Sr. Beatrice has been mourned by people from all walks of life as a woman of all people.

May her Soul rest in God’s Eternal Peace.


*The author is the Press Officer for the Diocese of Karonga

Sr Chipeta: children have the right to live to the full
Thousands Mourn and Pay their Last Respect to Sister Chipeta, The Beacon Of Hope.

By Jordan Simeon-Phiri

Thousands of mourners from all walks of life on Wednesday afternoon thronged St. Mary’s Parish in Karonga District to pay their last respect and celebrate the life of their mother, mentor, teacher, founder and Director of Lusubilo Community Based Organization (LCBO) Reverend Sister Beatrice Chipeta who died peacefully in her sleep in the wee hours of Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

In his eulogy during the requiem Mass, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese described the Late Chipeta as a humble, committed and dedicated servant of Christ who served the Lord tirelessly to put a smile on the less privileged, the vulnerable and orphans throughout her sisterhood.

“Much as we are shocked with her sudden death, we are proud of her because she dedicated her life to the Lord. She served God through various charitable activities that included paying school fees for many orphans, clothing and feeding them.

“And her death symbolizes that the owner of the Church is God Himself as all what she was doing will continue as whatever she was doing was Jesus Christ’s work,” Bishop Mtumbuka said.

Born in 1942 at Echiziweni in Mzimba, Sister Chipeta was baptized on September 23, 1958 at St. Denis Parish in Rumphi and took her vows as a religious sister in Sisters of Holy Rosary (Rosarian Sisters) congregation on December 8 1962 at Katete Parish in Mzimba where she taught for a long time.

She then taught at Kaseye Girls primary, St. Marys’ Primary School in Karonga and retired in 1993 as a teacher. Upon finishing a counseling course in Tanzania in 1997, she founded Lusubilo (meaning hope) CBO with an aim of sheltering orphans.

Today, the centre has grown tremendously and has shaped over one hundred thousand people in various skills ranging from nursery, primary, secondary school, tertiary education, modern farming techniques, nutrition, and vocational skills that include tailoring and carpentry in Chitipa and Karonga.

According to St. Mary’s Parish Priest Father Joseph Sikwese, Sister Chipeta was a darling to many and will be missed by boys and girls who were benefiting from her in terms of school fees as she was paying for many secondary school and college students’ fees.

“Sister Chipeta was an extra ordinary person. She was taking care of several orphaned girls and boys, providing them with food, clothes and all the necessities.

“And every Sunday after preaching in the outstations, she would go in the villages doing charity work and visiting the elderly. So, as a Church we have lost a strong pillar,” Father Sikwese said.

Taking his turn, Principal Group Village Headman Katolola said the surrounding villages have lost a true daughter and partner who took care of the orphans by giving them education, food, clothes and shelter regardless of one’s denomination.

Due to her hard work in charity, in 2010, Sister Chipeta was named a co-recipient of the US$1 million Opus Prize at Fordham Jesuit University in the United States of America.

Sister Chipeta went to Katete Primary School and then went to St. John Bosco Teachers’ Training College and finished in 1960. She then proceeded to Stella Maris where she studied economics and completed her studies in 1968.

She died a sudden death at the age of 77 and was laid to rest on Thursday at Katoto Cemetery in Mzuzu Diocese after serving as a religious sister for 57 years.

  • The Author is a Contributor working as MEC stringer for Karonga District. 0888872348 / 0999872348
Kaseye Girls Bids Farewell to 92 Form Four Students

By Wyness Kibogoyo

Kaseye Girls Secondary School 2019 Malawi School Certificate of Education Examinations candidates have been urged to remain focused in their studies if they are to do well in the impending examinations.

Father Cyprian Ng’oma, who presided over the graduation ceremony at the school on behalf of Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga, made this call on 15 June, 2019.

Father Ng’oma further urged students to remain humble but not to be satisfied with what they have achieved so far. He challenged them to aim high and dream about attaining university degrees.

“I have celebrated Mass and blessed your writing materials including sets of mathematical instruments. But you still need to be focused and keep on dreaming,” said Father Ng’oma.

“Bear with one another, forgiving one another, be humble and gentle, do not be harsh and have genuine concern for others if you want to be good citizens. Above all focus on your spiritual growth. Continue working hard and praying hard for your names to be written in heaven,” added Father Ng’oma.

Taking her turn, the Head teacher Sister Clementina Phiri expressed optimism that the girls will do well in their examinations.

‘’I and my fellow teachers have been with them throughout the Easter holiday and the competition they have in class was just good. This is an indication that the results will also be good,” she said.

92 girls are set to sit for this year’s national examinations, prepared by Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB), at the school.

During the ceremony which started with Eucharistic celebration, each student received a certificate of completion. Sixteen outstanding students were awarded certificates of appreciation/ recognition. These were outstanding in the following areas; French speaking, English speaking, multitalented, the most improved student, academic excellence and others.

Also present at the function were a motivational speaker Counsel Hazel O. Miseleni, the District Education Manager [DEM] for Chitipa and the Diocesan Education Coordinator Mr. Remmie Kamanga.

Vincent Bwinga facilitating during the meeting
ADC, Councillors and Women Groups Drilled in Gender Laws

By Wezi Mwangonde

Justice and Peace Desk Project Coordinator for the Women Empowerment Project Vincent Bwinga says it is pathetic that most Malawians are not aware of the laws that promote gender equality because the government has not taken any measure sensitise the masses on the same.

Ethel Mwanza: Newly elected councillor for Nyungwe Ward
Ethel Mwanza: Newly elected councillor for Nyungwe Ward

Bwinga says the laws such as Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act and Gender Equality Act were enacted to empower women to take an active part in personal, household and community development.

He further says absence of awareness on the same is a major obstacle to the effective implementation due to limited ownership of the laws by citizens. Such laws, he said are unsustainable.

Bwinga said this in the areas of Traditional Authorities (TAs) Wasambo and Mwirang’ombe in Karonga District where the Justice and Peace Desk drilled Ward Councillors, Area Development Committee and women group leaders in gender laws.

“As Justice and Peace Desk we would like to urge communities in the areas of TAs Wasambo and Mwirang’ombe that they should know the laws that promote gender because development does not exclude women or people with disabilities and we are complementing government’s efforts in providing awareness on the new laws,” said Bwinga.

Wasambo ADC Development Supervisor  Glad Lukhere  who is also the secretary has described the meeting as very relevant to the committee because it has provided new strategies on handling developmental projects that would help to uplift women in the community such as providing loans for small scale businesses.

Lukhere added that it is their duty as ADC members to help in civic education about the relationship between gender laws and development.

“I would like to thank CCJP for we have been reminded on gender laws therefore this will help us when planning for development projects in our community,” explained Lukhere.

Nyungwe Ward Councilor Ethel Mwanza says she is ready to transform the area under her jurisdiction and make sure the developmental projects are gender responsive.

“I am the only woman in Karonga District who has been elected Councillor this year. Therefore, I am the voice of all women in the District at the Council. I will make sure that budget allocation on development should not only support men,’’ said Mwanza.

The Justice and Peace Desk of the Diocese of Karonga is implementing Women Empowerment Project with financial support from UN Women through the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.

New members of Wamama Wa Chitemwano
307 Profess As Full Members of Wamama Wa Chitemwano

By Sister Margret Luhanga

On 31st May and 1st June 2019, a total of 307 women from all the nine parishes of the Diocese of Karonga made their profession as full members of Wamama Wachitemwano (Women of Charity) in the Diocese.

The profession tevent took place in all the nine parish centres and involved more than 2,500 Wamama Wachitemwano across the Diocese.

Wamama Wachitemwano is the biggest devotion movement for women only within the Lay Apostolate in the Diocese.  The movement exists following Christ’s command in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Their patron saint is Mary our Lady who visited her cousin Elizabeth and helped her.  On the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (31st May), they celebrated together as a devotional movement and inducted the newly initiated members into their movement.

Taking after the example of Mary who visited her cousin, Elizabeth, to serve her, these women serve by evangelizing through action.  They gather for prayers, faith and leadership instructions, and works of charity.

Wamama Wachitemwano Devotion Movement has about 8,440 members.  Every year, new members are recruited and initiated into the spirituality of the movement until they are deemed fit for full membership.

For this year, those that were accepted to full membership are the 307 women from all the nine parishes.  See more details about membership of Wamama Wachitemwano in the Diocese in the table below:

1 St Mathias Mulumba                               1,018                                  130                             23                                         13                    2
2 St John Paul II                                  573                                  275                             30                                         48                    5
3 St Michaels                               1,256                                  575                             74                                         46                    6
4 St Ignatius of Loyola                                  368                                  185                             30                                         50                    8
5 St Francis De Sales                                  217                                     44                               8                                         20                    4
6 St Annes                               2,694                                  355                             55                                         13                    2
7 St Marys                               1,054                                  540                             43                                         51                    4
8 St Joseph the Worker                                  552                                  221                             21                                         40                    4
9 St Stevens                                  708                                  230                             23                                         32                    3
  DIOCESE TOTALS                              8,440                               2,555                          307                                         30                    4
MPLC members following proceedings-Picture by Jordan Simeon-Phiri
Justice and Peace Desk Faults Elections Results Management System

By Jordan Simeon-Phiri*

Justice and Peace Desk of Karonga Diocese has told the Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) that despite conducting free, fair, transparent and violence free May 21, 2019 Tripartite Elections, tabulation and reconciliation of votes was a challenge by constituency returning officers (CROs), hence the use of correction fluid-Tippex that compromised results.

Mwakisalu-MEC should provide comprehensive training for POs-Picture by Jordan Simeon-Phiri
Mwakisalu-MEC should provide comprehensive training for POs-Picture by Jordan Simeon-Phiri

Justice and Peace Project Officer Moses Mwakisalu said this during the MPLC meeting held at the District Commissioner’s (DC) Chamber on Friday aimed at reviewing the whole electoral calendar before, during and after elections and map the way forward for the 2024 Elections.

“On the polling day, we moved around monitoring the voting, counting and tabulation exercise and we noted that there were challenges such as filling of 66 a, b and c forms and balancing of figures of votes and registered voters that probably came about due to lack of adequate training for Presiding Officers (POs) and CROs.

“This contributed to the complexity of the whole process of results management, counting, tabulation, reconciliation and transmission of results. As the result, balancing of those who registered and voted could not tally,” said Mwakisalu.

In his recommendation, Mwakisalu asked the country’s Pollster Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to organize comprehensive training for POs and CROs or hire permanent members of staff to manage elections if a repeat of the May 2019 irregularities is to be avoided.

The Justice and Peace Desk of the Diocese deployed observers in all the twelve constituencies of the Diocese and thus entire districts of Karonga and Chitipa and the northern part of Rumphi.

Taking his turn, 50:50 Campaign Coordinator at Foundation for Community Support Services (FOCUS) Robert Silungwe whose organization canvassed for equal representation for the Parliamentary and Local Government Elections in the district asked all stakeholders not to relent if the campaign is to achieve the feat in 2024 Elections.

“This year, out of the 18 female Ward Councillors from the 10 wards, only one made it while the five female parliamentary candidates failed miserably despite the unwavering support and efforts from electoral stakeholders and partners.

“I, therefore, request all of you in this house to start the campaign and encourage the losing female candidates not to give up in readiness for the 2024 election,” Silungwe said.

District Commissioner for Karonga who was the District Elections Coordinator, Emmanuel Bulukutu, hailed the electoral stakeholders for the role played during the whole period that resulted in the district conducting peaceful and violence free tripartite elections.

The MPLC meeting was jointly funded by Justice and Peace of Karonga Diocese and Youth and Society.

*The author is MEC Stringer – 0888872348 / 0999872348