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Blantyre Synod election saga gets dirtier

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As the countdown to the CCAP’s Blantyre Synod elections continues, politics continues to take centre stage.

After accusations and counter accusations between General Secretary Alex Maulana and Prison Chaplain Stainley Chimesya that the former is being sponsored by the ruling DPP while the latter belongs to the PP camp, Malawi News can reveal that the bad blood between the two is deeper as they have been fighting over a vehicle that former president Joyce Banda donated when she was in office.

Both Chimesya and Maulana confirmed the fight but justified their actions.

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“The vehicle is for me. I made a personal request to the former president on December 8 2013 during a meeting at the State House where the GS was introducing new office bearers. It is true I wrote the GS in April this year and advised him to go to DPP and get a vehicle from there and leave this one which was donated by Joyce Banda to me. Since they grabbed the vehicle from me by force, I also grabbed it back by force,” said Chimesya in an interview on Wednesday.

The drama started during the meeting at the State House.

Chimesya claims he coordinated the trip and advised Maulana to ask for a vehicle or two for the Synod.

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Chimesya further claims that the General Secretary refused to ask for the vehicle which prompted him to make a personal request which the former president granted.

“When the GS saw that my request was granted, he made a synod request for a vehicle for the Moderator and Madam Joyce Banda first bought the synod’s vehicle. Later I was called to get my vehicle and State House assured me that it was my vehicle. I registered it in my name. But since I am a poor cleric in the church, the GS started bothering me saying the car belongs to the Synod.

“The GS instructed the head driver to take the vehicle to Road Traffic to change ownership and the vehicle was taken by force. I told Mrs Banda and some lawyers and they said the vehicle was mine,” said Chimesya.

He added: “But in April this year, I grabbed the vehicle again by force after getting annoyed with accusations leveled against me by the GS and others that I castigated President Peter Mutharika when he visited Maula prison. I also used force and got the vehicle back and I wrote the GS telling him that I had taken the vehicle and if he wanted his own vehicle, he should go to the DPP.”

Maulana confirmed the battle over the vehicle, BT 1007, and said Chimesya sent him a text message through deputy GS Rev. Moyenda Kanjerwa that he should go to DPP to get a vehicle for himself.

But Maulana said Chimesya was lying that the vehicle was a personal donation to him.

“He is cheating that he got the vehicle as a personal donation. He registered it in his name secretly and we summoned him. JB said the vehicle was for the chaplaincy and so we changed ownership. He is taking advantage of the fact that JB is not in the country,” said Maulana.

Maulana said the vehicle issue will be dealt with after the Synod elections on August 25, 2015.

“Those issues are at management level. Let us leave them because they are bringing dust in the dust. We are preparing for elections and they would only divert us from the elections. We will tackle them after the elections,” said Maulana on Wednesday in an interview.

Maulana said he was not a supporter or member of the DPP, arguing that the fact that he comes from the Lhomwe belt does not make him a member of the ruling party.

In the August 25 elections, Maulana, who is seeking a second term, will battle with Reverend Lazarus Kadango and Paul Mawaya.

In parrying away accusations that he is sponsored by the ruling DPP, Maulana claimed this week that PP is supporting Kadango and Mawaya through Chimesya and others.

“ I have heard reports that DPP is supporting my candidature and that my fellow competitors are supported by PP. But that is not true because we are not politicians. I know Reverend MacDonald Kadawati and Chimesya are against me but they are not God. I am going to win if God says so,” Maulana told our sister newspaper, The Daily Times, this week.

But CCAP General Assembly Moderator, Reverend Timothy Nyasulu, said it was not right for political parties to poke their nose into church affairs.

Nyasulu advised political parties to leave Blantyre and all the other synods alone. He also cautioned clerics to avoid being used by politicians.

DPP’s spokesperson Francis Kasaila claimed in an interview this week the party leadership works with all church leaders without supporting any in a special way.

PP’s spokesperson Ken Msonda also made similar sentiments that his party embraces all church leaders.

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