By Duncan Mlanjira
Concerned CCAP youths have condemned and censured Moderator for Blantyre CCAP Synod, Reverend Masauko Mbolembole and general secretary Reverend Billy Gama over the statement the two authored that guided its members to vote for the best leader for the fresh presidential election.
Last week’s statement by Mbolembole and Gama titled to strongly tout President Peter Mutharika as such leader, saying “Malawians need to choose a leader that cannot only enhance and promote good governance, but also who understands fully the rule of law with a high degree of accountability, integrity, consistency and responsibility”.
“Against this background, it is critical to assess objectively the track records of those competing for the presidency in order to establish how constructive they have been in their usage of power … before they are entrusted with more responsibility and power,” Gama and Mbolembole said in the statement.
Ironically, President Peter Mutharika is the only one with a track record of leading the nation among the candidates for the fresh presidential election Malawi Congress Party’s leader Lazarus Chakwera and Peter Kuwani of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) have never led this country.
Gama and Mbolembole’s statement comes barely a few days after the synod suspended four of its clergymen for holding a press briefing without the synod leadership’s consent.
The four are Reverend Donnex Mateyu Ngalande of Chileka CCAP, Reverend Dezio Maloya of Sharpevale in Ntcheu, Reverend Frank Mkwezalamba of Madziabango in Blantyre Rural Presbytery and Reverend Duncan Kananji of Blantyre City Presbytery, who accused the Synod’s leadership of politicising the pulpit by urging clerics to campaign for President Mutharika.
In their statement, the concerned youths describe Mbolembole and Gama’s stand as partisan, regionalist and tribalistic, saying they can no longer stomachbeing ridiculed by the society on issues that could have best been avoided.
“Our letter should not be taken as lack of respect to the leadership,” they said. “We would have chosen to go public and hold press briefings as others have done but we thought it wise to write and properly engage you through this letter.
“The sad part of it is that these sad developments have been deliberately overlooked by the Synod leadership despite being aware of such [and] we have decided to directly write to you not through synod youth directorate, because the directorate is rotten and compromised.”
They quote the Constitution’s section 32 (a) and (b) that offers freedom of association as well as section 34 (1) that offers freedom of expression, saying “these freedoms are also fully expressed in our synod constitution, section 9.15”.
“We find the action of some reverends contravening the oath they took when they were being ordained as ministers of the word and sacrament.
Their action are also in violation of synod constitution, section 9.4.6(iv) and (v).
“But to our surprise which is also a surprise to many Christians the synod leadership has opted to remain quiet.”
The youths further allege a meeting took place at Likhubula Youth Training Centre in Mulanje where a number of synod ministers were called and connived to sell the Church to politicians who in turn will reward them with money and positions in the public and private sectors as Board members for parastatal organizations once the party is voted into power.
They allege that each Synod minister in attendance received an allowance of K75,000 and also allege that there is a pastoral minister enticing youths “to vote for a particular party and openly promoting hate speech not befitting a minister of the word and sacrament”.
The youths also censured the Synod for suspending the four clerics who, “out of legitimate anger as Watchmen for God’s flock placed under their pastoral care, jumped all set protocol to voice out their dismay at the Synod”.
“We have evidence in our possession that these ministers tried to engage you or raise these issues with you but to no avail.
“We find it surprising that you acted with speed to call for a meeting and discipline these ministers whose only offence was to call for a press conference without prior authorization or knowledge of leadership and yet there are many Ministers that have committed serious offences but have never been disciplined.
“Any attempt to plunge the Synod into worldly, hardline political machinations must be discouraged and condemned in very strong terms as it tantamounts to fighting against the gospel.
“As such, we the concerned youth appeal and plead to the Synod leadership to publicly condemn and discipline all ministers mentioned on the recent political entanglements and backstabbings for the good of the Church and its work — now and in the future,” say the concerned youths.