19 March 2018

Malawi: Catholic Bishop Msusa Clarifies Snub of First Lady Donation - 'Beautify Malawi Trust Did Not Provide Information'

Archbishop Thomas Msusa, the chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), a grouping of Catholic bishops in the country, on Saturday turned down the First Lady Gertrude Mutharika's offer through her Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust to give 40 bags of cement towards the rehabilitation of Providence Girls Secondary School hostel in Mulanje.

His Grace, Msusa, explained that the donation was rejected because the Catholic church had already identified a foreign donor to carry out rehabilitation works for the hostel that was gutted with fire early this year.

According to Bishop Msusa, Beam Trust did not provide any information to the diocese on the issue of the donation.

Catholic Church owns the Providence Girls Secondary School.

But Msusa said the owners were not consulted in the requirement prior to the First Lady's visit to the institution.

"They did not ask us. They just came to the school without any knowledge. In fact, they just came without any information," said Msusa.

He said Msusa said the church has on its part solicited some support from local and international donors, noting that the response towards the renovation of the girls' hostel at Providence was overwhelming.

Msusa said he had gone the school with the donors who came from Germany.

Head Girl for Providence Secondary School Vanessa Disoni said some of the students who were affected by the fire were not yet back from recovery as their parents were poor to replace some of the personal belongings destroyed by the fire.

The First Lady was accompanied at the school by Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Bright Msaka, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Minister of Culture, Civic Education and Community Development, Cecilia Chazama, Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia and DPP General Secretary Grelzeder Jeffrey.

Msaka commended the First Lady for her commitment to promoting girls education in the country through construction of hostels, provision of sanitary amenities and teaching and learning materials.

The assorted items which the First Lady donated include: 40 suitcases, 40 school bags, 40 mattresses, plastics cups and plates, soap, exercise books, mathematical instruments, bathing and facing towels, sanitary pads, 40 double deck beds and school uniforms for the affected 39 and the needy at the school.

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