Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I hear that Peter Mutharika (or Arthur Peter Mutharika as you like to call him) sat comfortably in one corner of the church session meeting.

To him, the deal was done and what remained was confirmation from the church’s politburo.
The inquisitive church elders and deacons listened attentively as the pastor intimated about Mutharika’s intention to join St Michael and All Angels CCAP Church.

The listening was an easy task for the church leaders but their comfort zone was shifted when the Moderator opened the floor so that they would ask Mutharika questions of any kind in regards to his spiritual life.

I hear the room was silent for about a minute up until one elder stood up and looked straight at Peter.

“Sir, please give us an assurance that you will be a dedicated member of this church”,

“Yes, I will be”, that was Peter answering.

“No Sir, we need you to clarify your stand”, the elder insisted.

I hear that Peter answered but that is not the gist of this post today.

Prior to this session meeting, we had seen Peter Mutharika coming frequently for church services.

Be reminded that this was at the height of Bingu wa Mutharika’s rule when Peter was probably the most powerful cabinet minister. His motorcades were presidential in nature and sometimes he even used the presidential chopper for his endeavors.

We had anticipated that he was going to go through catechumen class as is always the case with new comers. (I even contemplated on joining catechumen as a teacher so as to have a privilege of teaching him)

I hear that as we waited, Peter was attending special classes supervised by the church Moderator. (Why the fast track? I don’t know)

Let me confess, I have never seen Peter again at church since his brother kicked the bucket but I know that on paper he remains a member of St Michael and All Angels church.

Coincidentally, I know that President Joyce Banda is a women’s guild member at St Columba CCAP. I have seen the president on numerous occasions attending church both at her church and St Michael and All Angels.

Just this week, she attended the Blantyre Synod Women's conference at St Michael and All Angels Multipurpose Hall. 

I know that she started attending church even before she was president, let alone a cabinet minister. I know that she remains dedicated to the affairs of the church to date.

One thing I don’t know is how St Columba and St Michaels and All Angels will nurse the facts that they have two presidential aspirants in the 2014 Elections.

For starters, the two metropolis churches have always been at loggerheads in so many aspects. They boast of the country’s crème de la crème within the cross section of their membership. 

I don’t know if it is by design that they hold Paper Sundays on the same day but what happens on those days prove the egos that the two hold. 

On such days, elders from both sides will exchange calls just to find out how much their friends are raising as the functions progress. (I have vague figures but I know that they both hit over K5 million per event)

Coming back to President Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika; will the two churches end up leaning towards their candidates in a sympathy vote? As a communicant member of St Michaels' I have strong doubts if Peter will sway the latent vote within his church due to his inactivity and other factors.

We are not talking about big numbers here. Each church has a membership of about 3000 but let us remember that a single vote counts in any political election.

It, however, remains unknown if Peter is coming back to St Michaels.

May be the church elder’s question needed a clear answer indeed.          

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