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Bishop Mtumbuka Warns Newly Recruited Employees Against Fraud

By Trifornia Mtawali

Bishop Martin Anwell Mtumbuka of Karonga Diocese has challenged the newly recruited staff members and all workers of the diocese to keep away from fraud and corruption because these malpractices injure the less privileged they are meant to serve.

Pic: Bishop Mtumbuka (centre) with Community Transformation Project Staff

Bishop Mtumbuka stressed on this during an orientation meeting on Friday with the new employees in a five year Community Transformation Project being implemented in the diocese.

Bishop Mtumbuka said corruption is one of the factors contributing to worsening poverty in various societies and it is not only against the laws of the country but also the laws of the Catholic Church hence anyone taking part in such vices has to be punished accordingly.

On another note, Bishop Mtumbuka also expressed gratitude seeing increasing numbers of females showing interest to work with the diocese, which proves that the diocese is an equal opportunity employer. He further added that a lot is to be done in making sure that these female employees get senior and decision making positions as this will strengthen women empowerment as well as gender equality policies.

Speaking after the meeting, the Pastoral Secretary, who also works as Bishop’s Secretary, for Karonga Diocese Father Robert Songa encouraged the youths to be responsible and lead by example in societies they will be working in and refrain from excessive drinking of alcohol to preserve morals in the country.

Father Songa made these remarks following the recruitment of several qualified youths in various positions in the diocese. Community Transformation Project will be implemented at Jalawe in Rumphi District, Kopakopa in Chitipa District, and Chankholombe in Karonga District focusing on issues to do with Agriculture, Health, Education, and Pastoral among others.



His Lordship Rt. Rev. Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has appointed Rev. Fr. Laurent Chogawana Dziko as the Vicar General. This follows the passing of Mons. Denis Solomon Chitete, who until his death on 24th December, 2021, was the Vicar General of the Diocese of Karonga.

Monsignor Lorent Chogawana Dziko was born on 28th June, 1968 at Kasina, in Dedza District. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Dedza on 14th September, 2002 at Mua Parish. The late Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Kanyama sent him to the Diocese of Karonga as a Fidei Donum priest on 18th May 2012.

Monsignor Lorent Chogawana Dziko has served in various parishes such as St. Anne’s, St. Mary’s, St. Steven’s, Immaculate Heart of Mary, and currently he is the Parish Priest of St. John Paul II Parish and Moderator of St. Elijah Sub-Parish. He is also the Member of the College of Consultors, the Chairperson of the Diocesan Pastoral Commission, the Dean of Kapoka Deanery, the Diocesan Lay Apostolate Chaplain, the Diocesan Chaplain of the Kolping Society, and the Chairperson of the Diocesan Events Committee.

The appointment of Mons. Lorent Chogawana Dziko as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Karonga illustrates the fact that although a priest is either incardinated to a particular diocese or is a member of a particular religious congregation, he is ultimately a son and servant of the Universal Church which is a great honour that God has bestowed on all of his humble servants.

We all join His Lordship Rt. Rev. Martin Anwel Mtumbuka, in wishing our new Vicar General the very best as his begins, besides his many other pastoral ministries, this challenging but noble ministry in the Diocese of Karonga. We most sincerely assure him of our full support and prayers.

With most sincere best wishes and prayers,

Fr. Joseph M. Sikwese


Bishop Mtumbuka Hands over Houses to Victims of Violence

By Wezi Mwangonde

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga has officially handed over 22 houses to victims of violence caused by witchcraft accusations and chieftaincy succession wrangles at a function which took place at Ngerenge in Karonga District.

Speaking during the official handover ceremony, Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka challenged traditional leaders to stop fueling violence in their areas by promoting fairness when settling disputes. The Bishop expressed concern that some conflicts are caused by traditional leaders due to lack of justice when settling disputes.

 “The truth is that most of the times violence is caused by traditional leaders because of unfairness in dealing with chieftainship succession, land demarcation and allocation of development projects. Our plea to traditional leaders is to always exercise justice when handling these issues to maintain peace,” said Bishop Mtumbuka.

In his remarks, T/A Kilupula appreciated the peacebuilding efforts of the Diocese of Karonga. He also expressed a word of gratitude for the support the Diocese renders to the people in the area.

He added that traditional leaders have a responsibility to build peace in their areas through closer collaboration with their community members.

“Yes we have a responsibility to bring peace in our communities but there are some individuals who fuel violence but they do not understand the causes very well for example witchcraft accusations which traditional have always spoken against,” explained Kilupula.

With financial support from the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart in Germany, the Caritas Commission of the Diocese of Karonga implemented the “Transforming Conflict and Resettle Internally Displaced People” project. Under the objective of resettling internally displaced people, the Diocese has constructed 8 houses in Chakwera Village, 3 houses in Ngerenge, 1 house in Lupembe, 5 houses at Majaliro, 3 houses at Fulirwa, 1 house in Mwanjabala Village and 1 in Kafikisira Village.

The project has distributed food and other basic household items to 540 victimised and vulnerable households; 210 in Mpata (Mwankenja Mwangonde, Mwawembe Kalambo and Mwentete villages) and 330 in Chakwera Village. The project also engaged 2,500 people in conflict transformation process in the district in the areas of Paramount Chief Kyungu and T/A Kilupula.

Karonga Diocese Priests Trained in Catholic “Scouting”

By Memory Moyo

With an aim of making sure that priests of Karonga Diocese are working hand in hand with Catholic Scouts in their respective parishes, the Diocesan Catholic Scout has trained the priests to understand the concept of scouts.

Priests putting on Scout Scarf after the training session
Priests putting on Scout Scarf after the training session

Speaking in an interview at Mikoma Lodge in Karonga District, the Diocesan Chaplain of Catholic Scouts Fr. Joseph Mkinga said it can be very easy for priests to work together with the scouts if only they know how scout is operating.

“It was difficult for our priests to collaborate with the Scouts because they had limited understanding on how Scouts operate. So I believe that this meeting has enlightened them on the operations of the Scouts,” Father Mkinga narrated.

On his part, one of the participants Fr. Atupele Kuyokwa from St, Ignatius Parish said it has indeed been difficult to work with Scouts in his parish as he was not well acquainted with the principles of Scouts. Therefore Fr. Kuyokwa has appreciated the knowledge gained through the meeting.

“I really appreciate Fr. Mkinga for organizing this meeting with an aim to making us understand how we can work with our Catholic Scouts. Honestly, it was very difficult for us,” Kuyokwa said. The Catholic Scout of the Diocese of Karonga started its official operation on 19th October, 2019, under the initiative of Bishop Aniwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga  


Done by Benjamin

As a way of developing leadership skills and increasing participation among the youth in the life and mission of the Church, the Youth from Karonga Deanery have been asked to seriously take up the leadership roles that are given to them now in the Diocese.  This call was made by the Deanery Youth Chaplain, Fr Joseph Mkinga, at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral,during the closing Mass of the Karonga Deanery Youth Rally on 31 October 2021.

The Youth and their Chaplain after Closing Mass of their Rally at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral

Over 267 youths from the Deanery of Karonga gathered at St Joseph the Worker Cathedral from 29 October to 31 October 2021 for a rally. Karonga Deanery is made up of 4 parishes (St Stevens, St Martin De Pores, St Mary’s and St Joseph the Worker) and St Thomas More Sub-Parish.  There are over 3,177 youths in all these 4 parishes and 1 sub-parish.  But due to restrictions, representatives among the youth were selected to attend the rally and hold elections for the Deanery Youth Executive Committee. 

Part of the youth who attended the rally

During the rally, the youth were involved in the following activities:

  1. Elections of their Karonga Deanery Youth Executive Committee
  2. They prayed the rosary together to close the month of the rosary (October)
  3. They had lessons and presentations on Courtship and Marriage Preparation, Vocations, Drug and Substance Abuse
  4. They held singing sessions and in-door games.

During the closing mass on Sunday, 31 October, Fr Joseph Mkinga challenged the youth that their time to seriously take up church leadership roles is now rather than later.  He urged them to continue reflecting on their career and vocation as this will ensure that they make right choices and lead in one way or another.  He also asked them to be the youth that love to pray in order to be good leaders. 

Fr Mkinga, the Deanery Youth Chaplain, during Closing Mass of the Rally

Also present during the Deanery Rally and taking various roles were Sr Amelie, Sr Prudence, Mr Paul Mwandira (Catechetical Methodology Advisor for Karonga Deanery), Catechist Abraham Mwakiyale (of Mpata Zone), Assistant Catechist Francis Munthali (of Mpata Zone),and Catechist James Gondwe(of St Joseph the Worker Zone). 

Father Aubrey Sumbukeni (in front) facilitating the consultation process in Chitipa
Karonga Diocese Begins 2023 Synod Consultations among the Clergy and Religious

By Benjamin Msowoya

As part of preparations for the Synod of Bishops in 2023, the Diocese of Karonga has started collecting views on synodality among the clergy, the religious men and women. Karonga Diocese organised its first sessions of consultations among the clergy and religious on 26th October 2021.

Father Aubrey Sumbukeni (in front), leading consultative session Chitipa

All priests (diocesan and religious) and religious sisters working in Chitipa and Kapoka Deaneries of the Diocese met at St Michaels Parish; while all priests, religious brothers and sisters working in Karonga and Chilumba Deaneries of the Diocese met at St Mary’s Parish for their deliberations. 

In their deliberations, they appraised the current status of the Church’s ‘journeying together’ as it is happening today in the Diocese.  They were also forward-looking on what needs to be done in order to make this ‘journeying together’ better in the Diocese.

The product of their deliberations (their assessment and recommendations) will be consolidated in a report together with the views of the various groups of the laity across the Diocese; men, women, members of various lay movements and devotional groups, members of Small Christian Communities, the youth, children, members of other faiths that collaborate with the Diocese, officers working in various institutions of the Diocese.

Father Lorent Dziko (in front) facilitating the process in Karonga
Father Lorent Dziko (in front) facilitating the process in Karonga

With these first consultations done among the clergy and religious, the Diocese has a clear plan on how to engage further, the various members in the Diocese on similar consultations between October 2021 and March 2022.  Before these first consultative meetings started, the Diocese formed a 9-member Diocesan Committee on Synod; appointed by Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka on 21st September 2021. The Diocese also launched the Synod on 23rd October 2021 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced that the Synod of Bishops will take place from October 2021 to October 2023. The theme of the Synod is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.”

Ambassador Impressed with the Impact of Women Empowerment Program

By Memory Moyo

Women Empowerment Programme beneficiaries from T/A Wasambo in Karonga District have requested the Government of Norway through Ambassador Stainer Hagil to continue funding the program since it has increased participation of women in decision making.

Ambassador of Norway speaking during the function
Ambassador of Norway speaking during the function

This has been said today during a field visit by the Ambassador of Norway at Hangalawe Primary School in the area of T/A Wasambo where he was appreciating what has been done by The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of the Diocese of Karonga in collaboration with United Nations Women and Karonga District Council.

Speaking during the function, one the beneficiaries, Ward Councillor for Nyungwe Ward Ethel Mwanza, said she managed to attain this position through the teachings from this programme.

“Through the Women Empowerment Program, I am able to stand before men to contribute development ideas for my ward. It is my wish that this program should continue as it may increase participation of women in the 2025 Tripartite Elections Mwanza,” Mwanza said.

Responding to Mwanza’s plea, the Norwegian Ambassador Stainer Hagil said they are engaging UN women on the way forward of this project.

“I am so impressed with the impact the programme has had on the women of Karonga. This is why we have to discuss with these organization on what can be done to continue helping women from the current 29 % participation of women in politics to around 65%,” Hagen explained.

CCJP implemented the programme with financial support from Royal Norwegian Embassy through UN Women. CCJP implemented the programme in partnership with Karonga District Council with the aim of increasing meaningful participation of women in leadership positions, gender responsive planning and budgeting at national and local levels. The programme which started in 2017 and is ending this year covered all the traditional authorities of Karonga.  

Chaplains Crucial to the Creation of Vibrant Parish Scout Groups

By Princess Temwa Kamanga

The Catholic Scout Chaplain of the Diocese of Karonga has called for closer collaboration and greater connection between priests who are serving as parish Scout chaplains and members of the grouping as one way of creating vibrant groups at parish level.

The call was made on Friday by the Diocesan Scout Chaplain, Father Joseph Mkinga, during a day-long orientation session Scout Chaplains from all the parishes in the Diocese of Karonga at Bambo Zutu House in Karonga. The orientation session was held to enlighten chaplains on their role in supporting the activities of the Catholic Scouts at parish level.

Parish Scout Chaplains with Diocesan Scout Chaplain (fourth from right) and Diocesan Scout Coordinator (1st from Left)
Parish Scout Chaplains with Diocesan Scout Chaplain (fourth from right) and Diocesan Scout Coordinator (1st from Left)

In his remarks, Father Mkinga said the orientation session was organized to bridge the gap, between scouts and their chaplains, which was observed in some parishes. He expressed optimism that the chaplains will now assume their rightful role of providing leadership and guidance to the grouping.

“We expect to see change after these lessons. We expect greater accompaniment of the scouts by their chaplains in all activities. Catholic Scouts are always vigilant and ready to perform any task they are commanded to do by their leadership. We expect greater participation of the scouts in the life of the Church,” said Father Mkinga.

Speaking after the orientation session, Catholic Scout Chaplain for St John Paul II Parish, Father Thomas Gondwe, said the lessons have improved his understanding about the scout and will assist him to work better with scouts under his parish.

“Without proper understanding, it was hard for me to work with the scouts under St. John Paul II, now with the coming of these lessons my skills have been sharpened and I will work with scout members at the parish without any problem,” Fr. Gondwe explained.

Catholic Scouts was officially inaugurated in the Diocese of Karonga by Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka on 19th October, 2019. At the moment, the scouts are present in all the parishes of the Diocese of Karonga with over 700 registered members.

The Scouts are under the direct command of the Bishop. Among others, they are entrusted with the roles of promoting peaceful coexistence in their communities, facilitating relief distribution, monitoring compliance to Covid-19 measures in all prayer centres and providing ushering services during all functions where the Bishop is the main celebrant.

Participants receiving instructions from Father Joseph Sikwese (standing)
St Martin De Pores Parish Conducts a Review and Planning Meeting to Improve Faith Formation for Children, the Youth and Catechumens

By Lonely Paul Mwandira

The newly established parish of St Martin De Pores conducted a review and planning meeting of the Faith Formation that is done through instructions to Sunday School children, the youth and catechumens.  This was conducted on Saturday, 24th April 2021 at Ngerenge (St Martin De Pores Parish Centre).

The meeting was arranged because monitoring of instructions to various faith groups had revealed that there were many challenges in the parish concerning faith formation through instructions to Sunday School children, the youth and catechumens. 

Participants receiving instructions from Father Joseph Sikwese (standing)
Participants receiving instructions from Father Joseph Sikwese (standing)

The aim of the meeting was to share the challenges and plan together a way forward in order to improve such faith formation initiatives.  Led by the Parish Priest, Fr Joseph Sikwese, the many instructors of children, the youth and catechumens that gathered (37 in total) shared the status of faith formation through instructions in their respective prayer centres and Small Christian Communities. They established that there were many gaps concerning adequate learning/ teaching materials and the commitment of instructors, church leaders, parents and learners themselves.  Participants agreed on ways of improving coordination of the instructions to Sunday School children, the youth and catechumens in the parish. 

Solutions included ways of building the capacity of instructors of the youth and catechumens through the School of the Faith Formation Programme that is running in the Diocese and targeting instructors of Sunday School children. Participants also agreed to involve the local church leaders in monitoring instructions of Sunday School children, the youth and catechumens in all the 12 prayer centres of the parish.   They shared an approved diocesan syllabus for such instructions and a checklist for monitoring such instructions and general welfare of children, the youth and catechumens. 

Happy instructors have a group photograph displaying gifts that they received as donated by the Coppel Family
Happy instructors have a group photograph displaying gifts that they received as donated by the Coppel Family

At the end of the meeting, the Parish Priest donated some items to the instructors.  Each prayer centre received a professional football for children.  Each instructor also received a solar powered lamp and a solar powered radio in order to help them when preparing lessons at night and listening to faith formation programmes on the Diocesan Radio, Tuntufye FM Radio. 

Also present during the meeting were the Diocese’s Sunday School Programme Coordinator (Mr Benjamin Msowoya), the Diocese’s Catechetical Material Production Officer (Mr Ignatius Mvula) and the Catechetical Methodology Advisor in charge of St Martin De Pores Parish (Mr Paul Mwandira).

Rice field
CADECOM Brings Business to Karonga Kilombero Rice Farmers

By Norbert Tambalamtuwa Mzembe

At least over 200 Kilombero rice farmers in Karonga are expected to benefit from the partnership between Kajikhomere Foundation Limited and Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) of the Catholic Karonga Diocese through a Rice Value Chain Project.

Rice field: Farmers set to benefit a lot from their farming
Rice field

Briefing the Ngerenge-Kilupula Area Development Committee (ADC) on Saturday about the project, which encompasses a state-of-the-art rice mill that will be milling 60 tons of rice per day, Project Coordinator and Rice Agronomist for the project, Wiseman Kanyika said the project will mobilise 2,200 rice farmers to grow Kilombero rice. This he said will rescue farmers from unscrupulous vendors who buy their rice at very low prices right at the field when they are harvesting.

“For so many years farmers have lacked a better market for selling their rice. We have been seeing vendors coming to buy right where they are harvesting as a result, farmers have not been profiting very much. We are coming with the market, Kajikhomere Foundation Limited, where farmers will be selling their rice and in turn improve their economic status,” said Kanyika.

According to Kanyika, Kjikhomere Foundation Limited will be processing and marketing rice branded “Kajikhomere Kilombero” produced by CADECOM through Kajikhomere Foundation Limited.

He further said the farmers will be allocated in project sites in the areas of village heads Chiwowola, Simeon and Katumbi in Kaporo North where 800 farmers will be engaged; whereas in Kaporo South in the areas of Msomba, Mwangwela and Mwangomba, 600 farmers will be incorporated; and 800 farmers at Vuwa and Ulaha sections at Karonga Nyungwe and these farmers will be organized into cooperatives.

While providing credit schemes and small-scale mechanization to farmers, the Project Coordinator further disclosed that Kajikhomere Foundation Limited will mobilise a total of 550 farmers to produce certified commercial Kilombero rice seeds through Mphinga Irrigation Scheme. CADECOM will provide System of Rice Intensification training for farmers.

In his remarks, Member of Parliament for Karonga North Constituency, Honourable Mungasulwa Mwambande commended Karonga Diocese for the development which he described as complementing government’s efforts to boost the economies of scale for all. The ADC has since welcomed this magnificent project saying it has come as a sigh of relief to many rice farmers who have been making losses due low prices offered by vendors.