By: Bester Kayaye
The Catholic Archdiocese of Lilongwe has announced that the body of late Archbishop Tarcisius Gervazio Ziyaye is to be buried on Saturday 19 December 2020 in Lilongwe.
According to the official program signed by the Archdiocese communications coordinator, Father Louis Chikanya, his body is expected to arrive in the country today via Kamuzu international airport where prayers shall also be conducted and later the body will be taken to Poor Clares monastery for mass Service.
Chikanya also disclosed that after the Poor Clares monastery Mass the body shall also be transferred to Maula Prison Cathedral where mass shall be conducted at every 3 hour interval until Saturday when the remains shall be taken to Civo stadium and back for final rites.
The late Archbishop Ziyaye who by the time of his death was Archbishop for Lilongwe Diocese died on Monday 14 December 2020 in Namibia while receiving medical treatment.
The Archbishop’s death has shocked many people including politicians who have described the late Ziyaye as an exceptional figure whose strides tremendously yields the current democracy the country boasts about.
Conveying his condolence message, the Malawi’s vice president Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima describe the late Archbishop as an amazing shepherd who sought and fought for all God’s Children with utmost zeal and undiminishing passion.
Chilima said; “You stood for the truth and defended the weak and the powerless against all earthly excess of power and privilege.”
And the United Democratic Front (UDF) President Atupele Muluzi said the late Ziyaye was a humble man with great intellect and full of Compassion.
“He was patriotic and had a profound understanding for the people of Malawi and their plight. He was an early advocate for Multi-Party Democracy and shepherded many leaders to the new political dispensation after the end of the single party rule.” —Muluzi said
He added that late Ziyaye shall be fondly remembered in country’s history as one of the great songs of Malawi for his leadership and humility.
The late Ziyaye, was born on 19th May, 1949 at Khombe Village, Ludzi Parish, Mchinji District. He was ordained priest on 14th August, 1977, He then was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Dedza on 21st January, 1992 and consecrated on 23rd May, 1992 at Bembeke.
On 29th May, 1993, he was appointed coadjutor Bishop of Lilongwe. On 29th November 1994, he was appointed Bishop of Lilongwe. He was appointed Archbishop of Blantyre on 15th February, 2001. On 5th July 2013, he was appointed Archbishop of Lilongwe and was installed on 21st September.
In his Episcopate Ziyaye also held various positions ranging from being Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) for ten years, Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Christian Service Committee, Chancellor for Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) and Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA).
In 2009, he Chaired mediation talks of political parties in Malawi when the Parliament was failing to pass the national budget for the year as the opposition legislators wanted the dismissal of members of Parliament who violated Section 65 of the Constitution by changing party affiliation