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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

First Lady’s character was a model--clergy
09:44:57 - 05 June 2007

MALAWI could move from its poverty levels and image if there were more people of the calibre of the late First Lady Ethel Mutharika in all sectors and echelons of power, Northern Region clergy have observed.

In a sermon at Livingstonia Synod CCAP’s St. James Church Monday in Mzuzu, the clergy from various churches stressed that the First Lady was a model not only to women but the nation as a whole.

Sunday’s ceremony was the last activity for people in the Northern Region to pay their last respects to the late First Lady, whose body arrived in the region on Friday.

“I can honestly say that Malawi can move out of its poverty if the little we have would be shared just like what our dead First Lady used to do. Here is a lady who did a lot for the poorest of the poor in this country, yet she did not beat her own drum, publicising each and everything she did as others do,” said Reverend Maurice Munthali in his Tumbuka sermon.

“The death of Madame Ethel has even taught us political togetherness and that is more so because of the nature of our departed mother. Who here can tell us that Ethel Mutharika akunditukako matutsi [showered insults or obscenities at me]? This lady was just doing her job and not partaking in the dirt of showering or responding to insults, even to those who talked bad of her,” said Munthali in his captivating sermon.

He said Malawi was poor due to greed, which “can only end if people at all levels emulate late Mutharika’s spirit of sharing”.

Just like Munthali, Livingstonia Synod’s General Secretary Reverend Howard Matiya Nkhoma, in his English sermon, also described the First Lady’s conduct as touching and in line with biblical teachings.

“When you do good works away from Christ, you do it in vain. Late Madam Mutharika did not leave out God and that is why we are not only talking of the success of her works, but how her life was a model,” said Matiya Nkhoma.

During the prayers, Catholic Bishop Joseph Zuza of Mzuzu Diocese, Vicar General of the Anglican Diocese of Northern Malawi Father James Chifisi and other clergy from CCAP prayed to God for the spirit of the First Lady and and that He grant strength to President Bingu wa Mutharika.

The service, just like the send-off at Mzuzu Airport, saw politicians from different parties shaking hands and hugging in sorrow as they consoled each other.

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