Malawi’s President Hails Catholic Archbishop as “a living example of servant leadership”

Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa with President Lazarus Chakwera during the thanksgiving Mass on 19 September 2021. Credit: ECM/Facebook

The President of Malawi has hailed a Catholic Archbishop in the Southern African nation as one exemplifying “servant leadership.”

President Lazarus Chakwera who was speaking at the end of the Eucharistic celebration to mark 25 years since Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa was ordained a Priest said the Malawian Catholic Church leader has been a source of inspiration. 

“Every time I think of leadership I get inspired by the life of Archbishop Msusa; he is a living example of servant leadership which encourages institutions to work with dedication,” President Chakwera has been quoted as saying during the Saturday, September 18 event. 

He added in reference to the Archbishop’s decision to have the Holy Mass in his native village of Iba in the Catholic Diocese of Mangochi, “Through your servant leadership, you've shown us the need to respect where one comes from as you could have chosen to celebrate your silver jubilee elsewhere in town and not here, at your home village.”

President Chakwera also praised the Local Ordinary of Blantyre for his humility, which, he said, has made it easier for the Malawian Archbishop to work with everyone. 


He emphasized the value of modesty saying, “Humility is not humiliation but putting the interest of others first.”

Born in a Muslim family in February 1962, Archbishop Msusa converted to Christianity at the age of 12. 

He was admitted to The Inter-Congregational Seminary (ICS) in Balaka in the Diocese of Mangochi in 1990 where he studied philosophy and later joined the Monfort Novitiate in Kampala, Uganda.

The member of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries) was ordained to the Priesthood in August 1996.

Pope St. John Paul II appointed him Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Zomba in December 2003; he became the Local Ordinary of the Malawian Diocese in April 2004. 

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He was transferred to the Archdiocese of Blantyre in November 2013. He is the President of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM).

In his message during the occasion of his Silver Jubilee, the 59-year-old Archbishop expressed his gratitude to God for his Priestly vocation. 

“I am very thankful to God because He chooses people not based on what people see, but on what He sees in them,” Archbishop Msusa said, and added, “Words fail me today because of what God is doing in my life: I've grown up here, in this very remote area and I never expected that today I'll be here.”

He continued, “I am short of words because of all the good things that the Lord has done for us all.”

The Catholic Church leader who said he draws his Episcopal motto from the Gospel of St. John ‘That they may be one’, also called on Malawians to unite beyond tribes and religion. 


“Where there is unity, a lot can be achieved,” he said, and emphasized that “there is no need for Malawians to hold grudges but instead they must forgive each other.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.