Reverend Masauko Mbolembole was re-elected as Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Blantyre Synod Moderator Monday with Reverend Billy Gama voted as General Secretary (GS).
The synod, which covers the whole of the Southern Region and part of Ntcheu District, has over 1.2 million followers. CCAP is among the oldest churches in the country, having been founded by Scottish missionaries in 1876.
The elections for the synod took place at Multi-Purpose Hall of St Michael’s church in Blantyre, where Mbolembole amassed 306 votes, beating Reverend Edna Navaya (101 votes) and Reverend Demester Mthipera (28 votes).
Gama, who is also Presidential Adviser on Religious Affairs, was elected GS after amassing 181 votes against 124 for Reverend Baxton Maulidi, Reverend Collin Mbawa got 92 votes, 65 for Reverend Takuze Chitsulo, Reverend Cliff Nyekanyeka (37 votes) and Reverend Lazarus Kadango (11 votes).
In his remarks Reverend Billy Gama, said he would stand against partisan politics but said the church must always work with the government of the day.
“We cannot and should not go to a point of endorsing political candidates but working with the government of the day should not be confused with partisan politics,” he said.
Outgoing GS Reverend Alex Maulana has bemoaned tribalistic tendencies within the synod.
“At the rate the synod is going, mark my words—we would soon be talking about dividing the district. But always remember that this is the church of God,” he said.
Maulana thanked the church for picking him from humble beginnings in the village to rise to the post of GS.
“For the past eight years, it has not been me. It has been God,” he said.
The delegates also elected Reverend Mirriam Chipeta as Vice Synod Moderator after she earned 370 votes.
Her challengers Reverend Annie Kapinda collected 50 votes while Reverend Manford Kutani got 69 votes.
The CCAP’s General Synod Moderator Reverend Timothy Nyasulu, urged the new synod leader to guard against political manipulation.
Nyasulu said there were times statements and decisions of church leaders appear to be made my politicians.
“It is important that you, as leaders, do not divide the church,” he said.