Testimony of Pastor Peter Kankochi
(formerly with Kalibu Kwa Yesu Ministries)
It was on the 4th of April in 2005 when the senior pastor in Kalibu came with a message to the Lower Shire asking young men to go and get employed as laborers in the construction of what you now know as Kalibu Academy. I was one of the young men who fully and willingly committed myself to the task and I left the security of my home and family in Nsanje. As I left my little home in the mountains of Chididi and ventured into the unfamiliar territory of Blantyre, I was afraid but not worried. In my heart I knew that I was performing my duty as a Christian and devout member of the Kalibu Kwa Yesu Church.
There’s a saying among my Lower Shire brothers and it goes like this in Chichewa “Mtengo wautali sulila chikwangwani”, which is to say in English, “You don’t have to put a big sign that here is a very big tree when in fact all who come near it can see for themselves.”
When I was a young man growing up in my fathers house, Kalibu was that big tree; I admired everything that was Kalibu. My father, a Kalibu Pastor himself, was ever vibrant with news of this wonderful ministry and you can imagine the expectations I had when I left home for Chileka, just outside Blantyre to begin working.
When I got to Kalibu in 2005, I was so excited to begin working under the leadership of all the wonderful and mighty men of God I had heard of or seen speak in Nsanje. Indeed, when you are very far away from Kalibu, you only see the outside of the honeycomb, you never really know what it is like until you experience it.
I knew of the five fold ministry of the Bible, but it wasn’t until I got to Kalibu that I learned of another Five-Fold-Ministry (Five fingers in your hand…either slapping or punching) Until then, I never knew how vicious the insults against you or your family could be.
When you get there, as a worker, reality quickly hits you and you realize, nothing is as it seems. I was being paid MK1,200 a month in 2005 and at the time, we faced so many challenges to survive. Most of us were still not married then but what we were getting and the back breaking job we were doing was not corresponding at all. If Michael Howard ever decided he was going to give us a raise, his dearly beloved Paisley Mavutula would stop everything. He would even boast about it. Many days, we would offload close to 200 50kg bags of cement or more, but even when we were supposed to rest, Paisley would shout in his hoarse voice, “If you are sleeping on our compound, and being fed here, you will lift these bags and your reward is in Heaven.” At Kalibu, there was no overtime, no holidays, no bonuses, just pure brutality.
You can check with any of the ground staff who have been there for as long as the school was being built and you would be shocked at what you hear. We did this kind of work for SIX good years: what a sad testimony for a place that is meant to stand for righteousness. All the time, I thought I was going to learn the Bible and serve the Lord.
If any of the people reading this know what a SJAMBOK (pronounced SHAMBOK) is that is well and good, but for those who do not know a SJAMBOK is or have never heard of one or seen one I will tell you what it is. A SJAMBOK is a long stiff whip which was originally made from Rhinoceros hide, but other versions are made from very flexible and tough plastic. The Sjambok was also a weapon of choice during the apartheid era and if you have watched the Movie SARAFINA then you have seen this whip being used. It is such a strong weapon to use and the pain it inflicts is so excruciating.There’s not many of us who worked at Kalibu in the early days before Kalibu Academy was built that have not seen this SJAMBOK being used on someone, or felt its whiff on our backs and buttocks. Many of us at Kalibu know that Kalibu brings in shipments of materials in containers and that we seldom see a crane coming to lift containers off trucks. We do this the old fashioned way with ropes and sticks to act as wheels. Paisley Mavutula and Michael Howard would stand on the sideline with their Sjambok at their waist, screaming “WORK!” or “COME ON!” In fear of a lash from the Sjambok we pulled and pulled on.
If you think this kind of abuse was only afflicted on the native Malawians, think again. No one was special, no one was exempted as Hecki and Vecka soon found out. These were Finish nationals who were or still could be members of Out of Africa (Kalibu Ministries in Finland) Pastor Navaya called Hecki in a room andgave him a few good lashes, and as he walked out, Paisley Mavutula went in to give him some more.
SJAMBOK WOUNDS LIKE THOSE INFLICTED BY PAISLEY AND MICHAEL
I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday, but not my honeymoon because I did not have any whatsoever. I got married on the same day as Pastor Stanford Semu who used to be a right hand man for Kalibu and a beacon of light for all village pastors: a real soldier of Christ. We were both wedded at the old compound in Sigelege and were given 24 hours for honeymoon and then had to report for work. Mavutula is a very cunning man. As you can imagine, there’s no time to do anything in a space of 24 hours, so we reported for work late and boy did we wish it wasn’t so. WE got the Sjambok. I could not even sit down during prayer and devotion the following day.
I believe that a lot of people have heard of Paisley Mavutula’s scandals with women. I am one of those people, but in my case I have not only heard of these accounts but I have met some of these women. I have had dealings with them in town whenever Mavutula wanted to meet them so he would take me with him because I knew the others. If you saw the children they carried, you would not require any other proof to be convinced who their father was. Women used to sleep at the gate at the old mission house in Sigelege. Two of them them brought their children and left them there in anger because Paisley was not sending enough support and sometimes nothing at all. I know of 4 different women, none of them his wife, with his children. One of them has his twins.
MALAWIAN WITCH DOCTOR
In 2011 and 2012, people at Kalibu Academy began to see an old man just known by all as Madala making frequent visits to the administration block. This old man was a building foreman with zero education and cannot speak a word of English but people saw him going in the Headmaster’s office (Mavutula) and spending a lot of time there.
Soon it was discovered that he had become Paisley’s new witch doctor and as soon as the story was in the grapevines, their interaction saw a quick end. People said Mavutula began to suspect his colleague was not good at keeping a secret. But I know that this sort of thing is exactly what Paisley likes. I remember he had an accident where he ran over a child in Chileka. The poor soul passed away and the matter was sent to court. Mavutula spent 3 days in Mulanje visiting witchdoctors and when the case was won, he shouted “Hallelujah! Praise you Jesus!”
Paisley used to have this chest of drawers and kept one drawer locked at all times: he kept the keys to himself and no one was allowed to touch it. I believe this is where he has his magic idols that he gets from the witch doctors. I believe this is the key to all the things that most people don’t understand.
How can he be able to fool everyone so easy when the truth about him is right in front of your eyes and so easy to see? He was serious juju and he’s not a force to underestimate.
Everytime Michael was not around he would say “I need a new car,” and before you know it, he would get a phone call from abroad, with Michael telling him to sell his car and buy another one.
He would shout Hallelujah’s and then turn around and say, “This is my gold mine, I worked so hard for this gold mine.” (Michael Howard is the gold mine, not Kalibu). The apple never falls so far away from the tree. It is not surprising that Kalibu Kwa Yesu area Pastors in the villages are also into womanizing, adultery and witchcraft practices because they do what most people do in any organization FOLLOW THE LEADER. some of these are Pastors Maso and Perreira in Nsanje District.