President Lazarus Chakwera has paid tribute to Lilongwe Archbishop Tarcisius Ziyaye, saying Ziyaye’s faith in Christ has been an inspiration to him.
Chakwera, who is a former evangelical church leader, said this in a message posted on his Facebook page following the death of the 71-year-old Roman Catholic Archbishop on Monday morning.
The Malawi leader expressed shock at the death of Ziyaye and he offered his deepest condolences to the bereaved family and all the faithful who will miss him.
“His faith in Christ, belief in humanity and courage in pursuing justice for all have long been an inspiration to me and so many,” Chakwera said.
Vice President Saulos Chilima also posted a message on Facebook saying Ziyaye was an amazing Shepherd who sought and fought for God’s children with zeal and passion.
“You stood for the truth and defended the weak and the powerless against all earthly excesses of power and privilege.
“Our deepest prayer is that from the sanctuary of God’s amazing Kingdom, you continue to pray for our nation never to lose the democratic gains for which you fought with all essence,” said Chilima.
On his part, Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa extended his sympathies to Ziyaye’s family, the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, the Catholic community and the people of Malawi for the.
Nankhumwa said he will always respect the late Archbishop Ziyaye for his exceptional leadership in liturgical worship in the Catholic Church and his strong commitment to the ministerial formation.
“I also admire him for his personal courage and selfless contribution towards the fight against the notorious one-party dictatorship under the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
“Indeed, it was that courage coupled with genuine patriotism displayed by Archbishop Ziyaye in cohort with the other famous ‘1992 Pastoral Letter’ Bishops that brought about political freedom and multiparty democracy in Malawi in 1993 and 1994,” said Nankhumwa.
The late Archbishop Ziyaye was ordained priest in 1977 and served as Auxiliary Bishop of Dedza, Coadjutor Bishop of Lilongwe, Bishop of Lilongwe, Archbishop of Blantyre and, finally Archbishop of Lilongwe.
He passed on in the early hours of Monday in Namibia where he went for medical treatment.